tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 29, 2010 1:00pm-6:30pm EDT
conversation. do you have similar conversation with bloggers and are those usually reasonable conversations as well? >> no, i have never. that may just be made. i have been out of government about 20 months. maybe that has happened. i have a wonderful press office at the cia prepared my number 3 guy who is the head of the office i would say would be the starting quarterback in any other agency in town. he is that good. when i suggest and i am not aware that they did not, but they were really quite good. there were not, you know, the old joke that says before i got there, he called the press office in the first thing you heard was, "how did you get this number?"
[laughter] folks were quite good -- i really do not know the answer to your question, but i am suspicious they probably have, certainly at the press office level, in order to enrich -- no, they kind of did a taxonomy, got you guys to actually -- as i told you, you're more or less a precision weapon. then you have got the gap in between the blogosphere, some of which i would talk to, some of which i would not. let me tell you a rule of thumb we did have. it goes way back to 1999. we do not talk to anybody who was not interested in the continuing relationship with the american intelligence community.
in a very flippant way, and i should not share it with you but in the spirit of candor we said if you are not dependent on their relationship with us to put your kids through college, we do not want to talk to you. in other words, we did not want the drive-by shooter. we did not want the one -- story, he did not care if it was true or false because he is not coming back. we never talked to those people. so i suspect we would transfer that approach in the blogosphere and try to apply it as best we could. ok? ok? thanks. [applause] i think you can see by michael hayden's remarks how thoughtful he as been on these issues. abby, did you -- five-minute break.
national security, and the first amendment. a short break now, about five minutes, as they prepare for the next panel. that will be on prosecuting and defending cases involving classified information. we'll have more live coverage from the museum in washington in a few minutes. four -- from the newseum in washington in a few minutes. tonight we will be live at 8:00 eastern with the colorado governor's debate. live coverage of that at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3 while we wait for the next discussion, a look at it -- here on c-span. while we wait for the next discussion, a look at house races. c-span of local content vehicles are visiting congressional districts to look at the most closely contested house races in the midterm elections. >> we are literally drawing the attention of the country into
the grassroots race to make sure that pelosi is removed as a speaker, and this seat makes a difference not just in congress but in the actual policy and the direction this country will go. >> hoosiers, like all americans, what economic security for themselves and their families. economic security, good jobs, decent health care. to many residents of our state and the the lost interest because they have lost a job or premiums are too high or they have a pre-existing condition and were never able to get coverage in the first place. >> the incumbent in this district is joe donnelly. he is a democrat. he has been in office for two terms. he is widely considered to be a moderate democrat, by the blue dog coalition on the democrat side. a state representative is running for the first time. every candidate says jobs and the economy are definitely at the top of the list for this
race. the constituents in these district -- in this district would agree that the economy is dependent on manufacturing, and that has been hit hard during the recession. obviously, elkhart, indiana, is a town that people know coast to coast because of the trouble they have had their, in the rv industry. that is one area of the country that has been hurt by the recession. >> it is difficult to find a job, i would say that. and i moved to south bend indiana from seattle. seattle is a little more insular, as affected by the economic downturn. i have noticed tons of businesses have closed, a lot of joblessness right now, and people down on their luck, struggling.
i heard that crime rates have gone up. i think it has been a difficult time for our country. >> really, what i hear from south bend is that there is jobs. president barack obama came here to kick off the stimulus package, and all they have seen is broken promises, unbelievable and unemployment rates, and some of the horrific things that have been reported now tax money that was supposed to leverage jobs that did not. we have sent $2.3 billion to china. this is topic number one, and and we are seeing employment rates -- another underage higher than they were in the 1930's. people do not want to be part of a national health-care program. >> up as your congressman, i voted to stop increases in medicare premium, close the gap, and i have voted to protect
social security. i am joe donnelly. i approve this ad because our government should never put our retirement as a risk -- and risk. social security should always be rock-solid. >> he has been focusing on social security as one vulnerability for republican candidates. she has said in a few interviews and on questionnaires that she supports the idea of privatizing social security, and she has come out and clarified that she does not think it should be a wholesale change right away, that seniors today should still be entitled to those benefits they were promised and that they paid into. but that is one area where he has said in campaign ads that she wants to privatize social security, so she has had to defend yourself on that point. >> right now the biggest issue i have had was health care reform. i'm really worried that with the elections coming up, that will
get a eviscerated. i work at a clinic where i take care of all the young adults without health insurance, and the numbers are growing every day and i really want to see a reform in the health-care system, to get on track where everybody has access to care. >> i supported this health care bill we have in congress because i thought it made contact ridge -- did make coverage more affordable and available. in addition, it covers pre- existing conditions and it is also extraordinarily helpful for seniors. >> i think it is competitive because first of all the incumbent is a moderate democrat in a pretty middle-of- the-road district where people are conservative about a lot of fiscal issues. so just the way the government has spent money on the stimulus
and gotten involved in the bankruptcy toward general motors and chrysler and health care reform, those are big issues that make a significant portion of this district uncomfortable, and so those are issues that he has to explain to the constituents, why those were good for the district, why they were good for them. aloropponent, jackie wore ski, she is a republican running in an incumbent year. those are big ticket items that he voted for and she can convince people that the federal government and the nation are not on the right track with those things that he voted for. whennk it's representative a lot of people are calling the narrative of this election year, where incumbents who were
previously very secure in their seats, like joe donnelly, who won 2/3 of the vote in 2008 -- it might not be important for the rest of the country, but it is representative of the larger narrative we're seeing play out across the country, where republicans are making gains and democrats are having trouble convincing voters that the current path we are on is the path that we should stay on. >> leading up to the midterm elections, we are covering the most important house elections taking place. for more, visit our website, c- span.org/lcv. coming up live tonight after the 8:00 call a broader debate,
we'll show you the governors' debate in alaska -- actually, the alaska senate race. that will be at 9:00 eastern, followed by the new hampshire senate debate and the governor'' debate for illinois and hawaii. all of that on c-span. we continue our coverage on the conference on criminal law and national security and the first amendment. the next panel will discuss prosecuting and defending cases involving classified information. for live coverage -- more live coverage from the newseum in washington, d.c.
>> ok, we are going to get started here in the next few minutes with the afternoon panel. so if people could start to take their seats, because we have an equally impressive group. that baruch weiss is going to moderate. i want to introduce my liberal partner in crime, broke twice. for the past five years he and i have been -- baruch weiss. we have been involved in a number of national security issues together. he came to the private sector as
a trial lawyer and defense attorney after 20 years in the government, 18 years in the southern district of new york, holding every position possible, and after the eastern district of virginia, the most prestigious attorney's office in the united states. it is one heck of an office, and he was there for 18 years, out of about six or seven different u.s. attorneys during his tenure and handled some of the highest profile cases in that office. then he worked at the department of treasury here in washington. he happens to have a wife who is a terrific reporter for "the washington post," laura bowman felt -- laura -- he knows the issue firsthand. he oversaw close to 500 lawyers in different divisions of the homeland security department. so he has lots of knowledge from different perspectives, and i'm happy to introduce my fellow
weiss., briaruch >> thank you all. i think we are going to have an interesting panel this afternoon, as interesting as we had this morning. if you recall, we are going to be discussing the issues that arise in prosecuting and defending cases that involve the leak or disclosure of classified information. i am going to introduce, of course, as is traditional, our terrific bunch of panelists that you will see in a moment. what i'm going to do first is give you a little bit of a sense of what we are going to discuss, and i think you appreciate the we have to discuss it all the more. what we are going to discuss really feeds off what you will hear this morning, and that is we are going to assume that there was a disclosure of classified information by a government official to a journalist or a lobbyist or an
academic, not only journalists. these things happen in think tanks, at academic panels and so on. and we are obviously going to put aside cases where somebody said here is the recipe for the plutonium bomb would you give it to osama bin laden. we are going to talk about some of the more common, interesting, and difficult cases. there is a disclosures of usually some kind of policy information, and it then comes to the attention of law enforcement. we will posit that this information, law enforcement has a good reason to think it should not be disclosed, and the recipient, whether the journalist or the lobbyist, has a very good reason to think that there is a public interest in disseminating the information, sort of the paradigm. the paradigm actually happens quite a bit. we will assume it is an oral disclosure because we will talk about the differences between disclosure of oral information versus a document.
so to discuss this, we will have folks that come out of the prosecution perspective, a defense perspective, and then we have an expert in the classification process, which is very important in understanding the challenges we face, and of course we have the press represented as well. i will go down starting with bill leonard. bill is on my left, you're right. he is now the chief operating officer of the national endowment for democracy. for 34 years, he was in the federal government, and he served -- the last position he served in was as director of the information security oversight office. a very, very important although not necessarily known office in the public, but he was responsible to the president for the policy oversight of the
executive branch's classification system. essentially what it meant is, to put it in the more washington vernacular, he was the classifications are and have access to -- the classification czar. it was his job to make sure that what was supposed to be classified is and what is not supposed to declassify it is not. before his appointment to the director of isoo, he served in the defense department. i should say as a matter of personal disclosure, the day he resigned, i sent him a letter. at that point the aipac espionage case that you heard of -- we were in the midst of the defense and we were desperate to find experts who would be able to testify on our behalf as to
the nature of the information that was allegedly disclosed in that case and how dangerous or not dangerous it was to national security. bill leonard was on my list, and fortunately he was retired with nothing to do. he eventually agreed to serve as the defense expert in that case. next to bill, we have mike isikoff. mike is a very prominent journalist, national investigative reporter with nbc news. he was named the nbc news national correspondent in 2010, reports for the nbc nightly news, "today," and msnbc. he is the author of two "new york times" best-selling books, "hubris: the inside story of spin scandal and the covering of the iraq war." he joined this week after being
a reporter with "the washington post" in december of 1981. next to him, moving down the road, we have lucy dalglish. with losing and with mike we will get the journalist's perspective. the reporters for freedom of the press, of which lucy is executive director, is a voluntary association of news editors and reporters dedicated to defending the first amendment. before assuming the position 10 years ago, she was a media lawyer for five years with the firm of dorsey and whitney. she was also a reporter herself, a reporter and editor at the st. paul pioneer press. in 1995 she was report -- she was awarded the piarist honor bestowed by a society of professional journalists.
-- the highest honor bestowed by society of professional journalists. last on the road is ken wainstein, currently a partner -- he had a very long and successful career in government service, as you will see, he's going to i think bring to our discussion the government perspective on this. he served as a federal prosecutor, assistant u.s. attorney both in the southern district of new york and then in washington, d.c. in the interest of full disclosure, we have been friends since he served as a federal prosecutor. we served together as federal prosecutors in manhattan at the same time, so if you notice we are particularly disrespectful of one another, that is a disrespect board of deep respect and fondness and friendship. after he left the office, for
those of us who served as the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district of new york, he did a few other things not nearly as important as the years we served together as a prosecutor. for example, he was appointed director of the executive office of u.s. attorneys in the justice department. he then joined the fbi and served as its general counsel. he then was appointed the u.s. attorney, chief prosecutor in washington, d.c., where he oversaw the prosecution of a series of high-profile white- collar cases. he then was confirmed by the senate in a new position, particular to our discussion today, the assistant attorney general for national security at the justice department, which essentially met that while i was defending the eight -- which essentially means that while i was defending the aipac defendants, he was prosecuting the aipac defendants.
he then left to serve as the homeland security adviser to president bush, and then left or far practice -- left for private practice with 0 melveny & myers. we have the press perspective and we will have some important insight on the classification process which is very important in trying to understand how these things work. and i will play the role of moderator but also be on the defense side to make sure that we get all the perspectives covered. all right, so i think we are ready to roll. ok. the problems that we are going to discuss with the panel that typically are found in a prosecution, investigation a classifiedf an
information case, we will discuss the prevalence of disclosures that we discussed by a panel this morning. we are going to discuss the problems of over classification, what internal restraints we bring to these cases, the age of the statute, the age shows of the relevant statute, the first amendment issues, and so on. we will go through these one by one. let's start picking up on what we discussed in the panel this morning. talk about, first of all, a prosecutor who is appointed to investigate and prosecute week's first has to get a sense of what goes on out there in the world of disclosure. we heard a lot about that this morning. i want to pick up a little bit on that today. so let me turn first to mike.
let's turn to mike and we will get the press perspective. mike, when you cover your stories out there, how often do you get -- without asking details on a particular case -- some sense that the information you get, that it might be classified? >> well, when you are writing about stories dealing with the intelligence community, dealing with terrorism, national security issues, you inevitably are going to be brushing against information that is classified. there is always going to be a classified dimension to almost any discussion you have on the issue, because it is issues that the intelligence committee deals with -- the intelligence community deals with. but i cannot emphasize enough what i think is the principal
theme, and arguably the principal theme of any discussion of this kind, which is that everybody who has looked at this issue -- and bill is the expert, but anyone who independently looks at it agrees -- there is way over classification. if you just use the yardstick, "is classified come out it could shut down almost any phone classic -- "it is classified," it could shut down almost any conversation that the public has a right to know about and that the government wants to speak about. so everybody works around the fact that they are dealing with matters that, you know, technically, strictly speaking might involve classified
information, and then people dance around it because everybody knows, of course, somebody taking the strictest eye could say, "is classified, i cannot talk about it." it will shut down any reasonable sense of democracy if we use "is classified" as a form of disclosure. >> is that commonly known and understood by the press, lucy, that covers these stories? is this a secret that few reporters know, or is that widely know? >> i think most americans know it. you know, what is the saying -- the ship of state leaks from the top any time someone goes on "meet the press," they are
divulging something that is classified. i cannot think of any reporter i have ever dealt with that did not know there was over classification. the reporters i typically do with it and call for advice, most of them have access to their own in-house counsel, but sometimes they do not. the first thing you tell them is, ok, i do not want to know where you are getting this information, but are you confident that it is accurate? have you -- checked it? and what is going to set the intelligence community's off easy to identify sources and methods. by the way, it would be a really good thing if you are extremely protective of those two things. >> as we talk about over classification, let's turn to you, bill, with your crown of classification czar. >> i have advocated. >> is there and over
classification? you have looked at information. the the problem exists, and to what extent? >> clearly, over classification is rampant. to use just one example that is in the news today, that is the wikileaks data that we have experienced over the past couple of months. in no way, shape, or form would i even begin to defend the reckless conduct that has resulted in that man's disclosure. that will literally put lives at risk. but the one thing that i do not see enough discussion is that those disclosures also reveal how reckless the government has been in terms of applying a critical national security tool, and that is the classification system. between the afghan diaries and
the iraq diaries, there has been close to 500,000 records that have been disclosed, at least 97%, 90% of them classified. there is absolutely noticed -- there is absolutely no different show mission between -- the irony of it is we have a very simple process per the whole idea behind the classification system and a uniform set of markings is to clearly put on notice to both the holder of information and the recipient of information -- this is information that is sensitive, the unauthorized disclosure of which could cause damage to national security. 120 individuals for months, to
review the 90,000 afghan-related documents, and i can assure you that in terms of doing a review, to determine what was sensitive and what in fact could cause serious damage, classification markings were entirely irrelevant to that review. they would have to literally go through them line by line. so, you know, one of the things that i find disappointing about this is that there have been rightful condemnation on the leak by some of our government house leaders. but i have yet to see any of our government leaders accept responsibility for what is directly under their control, and that is the reckless manner in which the critical national- security tool is in fact applied. >> let's turn now to ken from the prosecutor's perspective. if we accept the view of the zarmer classifications c
that there is significant over classification, what challenges does that present to the defense department when we say we want you to open an investigation and prosecute him. we are very angry and upset. where does that lead you? what are the challenges you have to face in terms of balancing the requests of the agency with the over classification issue we have discussed? >> there is actually a protocol. if an agency is the victim of a leak and their information has gotten out of the public domain and they are required to provide a referral to the department of justice for us to look at, there is a standard set of 11 questions that the agency builds out that it goes into whether this information will be publicly available, which is obviously putting into the prosecution, how sensitive it is, that of thing. they make a referral to the department. the department then looks at the referral, brings in the fbi, and makes an assessment as to
whether we should prosecute the case. given that there have not been that many lica prosecutions, you can imagine the vast majority of these referrals do not that many in the pacific -- given that there have not been that many in the prosecution's, you can imagine the vast majority of these referrals to not get prosecuted. it requires more than mere classification. so you might not meet the elements of the statute, but be, it might be something under which you hold your fire for serious leaks, so we might say there is that datapoint that got out there that is classified, but that is not the crime of the century and we do not want to stoke up a prosecution that will -- it >> there is an important point to be made, that oftentimes what i encounter is that the government simply asserts classification. in fact, the governing executive
order actually establishes standards for classification. you know the old adage, any prosecutor worth his salt could indict a ham sandwich? you could say the same thing that any classifier could classify a ham sandwich. but to do that, you need two pieces of bread and a piece of ham. it is the same thing for classification. even though the standards are relatively minimal, there are standards that have to be met. one of the things that i am constantly chagrined at is how often i encountered agencies simply asserting classification, and even more distressing is one other branches of the government, be it judicial or the legislature, just automatically defer to that assertion without saying, wait a minute, executive branch, you have your own standards. >> speaking of the ham sandwich, it is it true -- we heard early this morning -- that even sometimes the newspaper
articles get -- is that possible under the classification standards? if so, how? >> microphone died. >> do you hear me at the podium? >> yes. >> so is it possible that a newspaper article would be classified? i hope the answer is no, but if it is yes, then how? >> that is one of the standards of classification, that the information must be originated by or otherwise under the control of the u.s. government. another standard is that it has been significantly delegated the authority, and there are only 4000 people in the executive branch to originally classified something, has to be on record either orally or in writing saying specifically that this piece of information is in fact
classified. so there are in fact standards -- >> can i give you an example? because it is something that pops up in my mind from recent reporting i had done. back in i think it was 2007, i had done a story about an extraordinary rendition case that got some attention during the debate over the iraq war. a sheik who had been rendered to egypt and then subjected to egyptian interrogation, coughed up information that was used by the u.s. by the bush administration to justify the invasion of iraq, that there was chemical, biological weapons training by the iraqis of al qaeda. when he was returned to u.s. custody, he recanted the whole thing, said he made the whole thing up just to stop the
torture he was being subjected to, and the egyptians in the cia had to withdraw the reporting on that. there was some cia cables that were released by the senate intelligence committee in late 2006 on this that prompted a letter from a bunch of members of congress to the cia and to the bush white house asking for more information about him, what did it know about his interrogation, what happened to him. i reported about that at the time. in 2007 i posted a copy of the letter on our website. a few months ago, the aclu had filed a request for information about extraordinary rendition cases, got back a bunch of responses. they asked about the case, and i noticed there were huge reductions in the responses, including a letter written by
members of congress to the bush white house with big black-out parts of the letter of the cia saying these portions of the letter were classified. well, i had written about the letter three years earlier, i posted it on our web site. it was still on the web site of one of the members of congress that wrote the letter. this classified letter. and i wrote a story about it a few days later, and the cia said, well, ok, we will declassify this letter that has been in the public domain for three years. can something in the public domain the classified? yes, it happens all the time. unless someone was around to call them on it, it would remain classified >> at what point in the bus at one point in the case -- >> at one point, this point came up with a particular prosecutor
who was responsible for guarding the classified information in the case. and i said, how can it be -- why is it that you have newspaper articles that are classified by the fbi or the cia? and he said, no, it can be done. it is not the article itself, it is the fact that the fbi was interested in it and was collecting it and saving it, or the cia was collecting it and saving it, that they would tell our adversaries nothing. >> it is in the newspaper. [laughter] >> they may not have known that. we have now established that one of the obstacles to pursuing -- initiating and pursuing a leak case, it is the simple fact that we have this rampant over classification.
overclassification, and we have other things to discuss. one can understand the difficulty presented ken was talking about. the first amendment comes to mind for most folks. we will talk about some other obstacles that are just as serious as the first amendment, but less obvious. but let's talk about the first amendment. let's first begin with a discussion -- let me turn to you, lucy. in your view, as a journalist and a lawyer, under the first amendment, and a journalist ever be criminally prosecuted for reporting classified information disclosed to him by a government official? >> first of all, i cannot think of any situation in my lifetime where i think that such a thing has occurred.
but, just as in my lifetime there was a situation i never would have thought of where a president of the united states was ousted for criminal behavior, i suppose there is possibly some situation where a reporter could be treated like any other citizen and charged with such a crime. i cannot for the life of me imagine what that would be. >> ok. so we have the idea then that the first amendment, absent the unimaginable margin, protects a reporter who publishes classified information. now, that is certainly not the view that was articulated by the justice department prosecutors in our a pack espionage -- in our aipac of espionage case. the clients were charged with having discussions with
government officials, having listened as the government officials shared with them information that was classified, and then repeating it. we raised -- there were charged with having done so under the indictment, although we were going to dispute that, knowing that the information was classified. and one of the issues that we raised, of course, was the first amendment. we suggested to the judge that the first and then it was an absolute protection, absolute protection at least under the circumstances. the government took a very different view, and i am going to start picking on ken in a moment when it comes to the government. what they articulated, the prosecutors in our case articulated, was the disclosure of classified information is not properly thought of as protected speech. it is a criminal act. although it manifest itself in speech, it's like saying, "lets go sell heroin or go and commit
a murder." it is speech that can decriminalize. so therefore the first amendment plays no role in the case. because the information was classified, the first amendment goes out the window. now i want to turn to ken and say, thoughts? >> i do not think you need to get to that absolutist position whether the first amendment applies or not. the espionage statutes definitely have their flaws, and we will talk about that more later on. but they have been subject to first amendment law is. so i do not know you need to go to that point in order to -- are you against a reporter or person in the position of aipac in order to defend against a
constitutional attack on the case. >> a judge denied a motion on first amendment grounds. on the other hand, he rejected the government house position that the first amendment was in applicable. the judge cut this down the middle, and he said the first amendment does apply, but contrary to misperception, the protections are not absolute. there are circumstances, if the government proves a relevant fact, that even though the first amendment protects, if the contact -- if the speech was so egregious, so harmful, coupled with other elements we will discuss any moment, the prosecution would still be viable he said difficult but viable. he did not dismiss the case. we'll talk more about the decision in a moment as we catalog the many factors that create obstacles in the way of prosecuting a weak case. so we have now talked about the
over-classification problem, we have talked about the first amendment. we have touched upon it. that is a discussion which can have for a month. the first amendment, two absolute views were the judge comes somewhere down in the middle. we need to talk about the statutes that you have been hearing about, this espionage act of 1917. it is a world war onei statute, not drafted with all of the first amendment in mind. to ken,t i turned t where in his role as attorney general was responsible for this. i will ask him to read the statute to you.
i do not for a minute suggest that you should understand it, but i just want you to listen for a moment, and even as a non- lawyer, you begin to see why the lawyers will have a field day when a case is brought before a judge under this statute. >> i am going to read one section of the main espionage statute. this is one of i think eight or nine different sections. it is subsection e. "whoever having access or control of any code book, sketched photographic negative, the plants, or no relating to national defense or information relating to the national defence, which information is in the possessor has reason to believe could be used to injury of the united states or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully attempts to communicate, and our cause to be delivered or transmitted to the same to any person not entitled
to receive it or willfully fails to -- has committed a crime." >> now that has to be simple enough for the ordinary person to conform his or her conduct with it. so contrast that with, say, the simplicity of "thou shalt not kill," for example. there is a complexity to the statute which has given rise to an enormous amount of litigation as to what it is that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before it can actually convict somebody. a few things to note -- it does not distinguish between journalists to non-journalists. it does not distinguished between government officials and non-government officials, although it distinguishes between those who are authorized to have the information and those who are not authorized to have the information. so in interpreting this statute,
in the salomonic way that he did, the judge said let me tell you what the government has to prove. they have to prove that the information was national defense information. that means it was potentially damaging to national security, the judge said, and was closely held by the government. potentially damaging and closely held. plus, the government has to prove that the defendant knew it was potentially damaging and that it was closely held by the government. the government has to prove that the information was classified. the government has to prove that the defendant knew that it was classified. the government has to prove that the defendant knew he was not authorized to receive it. the government has to prove that if the defendant -- the government has to prove that the defendant was not acting out of
"salutary motives," the judge said. even if you violated the law but you think it is for the greater good, that is a defense under this statute. you know, the government can prove all of that, i am not going to dismiss this case. the government will have to prove all that at trial, and if the government succeeds, these defendants will be fairly convicted. so i think now you can understand yet another challenge that faces the government in prosecuting these sorts of cases, given his opinion as a district court judge, if that opinion becomes law and becomes widely adopted, you have essentially another set of challenges that confront the prosecutors as they think about bringing these cases. i want to focus on another factor, and i am going back and picking on bill leonard again with the question. that is, you have heard that in
government officials, when they talk to folks, state department folks have to interact, white house folks interacting with folks out there, they do so after having read a host of classified documents. do they get, in your experience, generated for him or for her, a non-classified set of talking points each time he gets a reporter pasquale? or does he somehow -- a ?eporter's call >> it is clearly the latter. in fact, i refer to no less an expert and former vice-president cheney on this issue. if you take a look at the
statement he gave to the fbi in conjunction with skimpy -- >> scooter liddy. -- scooter libby. >> i'm sorry. he was quite open about the information that he routinely disclosed to reporters would be very similar to information that would appear in intelligence reports, and in that particular case it was in national intelligence estimate. he indicated he would purely allow those classified documents to inform his decisions and in for his conversation. as we heard from general hayden at lunchtime, what is often the issue is not the content, it is the thought. as long as an individual is careful not to disclose what is known as thoughts -- it is the
source. as long as an individual is careful not to disclose what is known as the source of information -- >> let me interrupt and hand you which, as a lawyer, i have to say is exhibit a, ask you if you recognize the exhibit. >> yes, this is mr. cheney's statement that i was just referring to. >> and the special prosecutor there. you may want to read a few sentences in that paragraph where the vice-president talks about how he relates to the public and discloses information publicly based on the classified documents that he reads. why don't you read a little bit of that. these are -- what bill is reading from is a document of an fbi agents who has transcribed or taking careful notes of the interview that the prosecutor, pat fitzgerald, conducted of the vice-president.
>> "with respect to the information contained, the vice president advised it is possible to talk about something contained in the classified document without violating the law regarding declassification. the vice-president made numerous examples based on in some cases tractive reading classified information, including the national and intelligence estimate. he did not violate any relevant laws or rules in making the statements because he did not reveal the continental sources or methods involved in gathering the classified information." >> so, what that illustrates the and i think is another challenge as we are cataloging the challenges in bringing these cases. especially when you have an oral disclosure, the mere fact that a sentence of third by a sentence uttered by a government official is traced back to a classified document does not end the inquiry.
you don't necessarily know whether or not the person has disclosed classified information. let me put this another way with one more question to build. even in a properly classified document, bill, is all the information in the document going to be classified necessary? >> absolutely not. one of the requirements is that the classification, going down to a portion of a paragraph or sub paragraph, even within that sub paragraph, there will be information that in fact is unclassified. in fact, in the aipac case, one of the many things i was chagrined at was that one of the things that the defendants were charged with, if you look at the source document, the lead in, even though it had classification markings to it, indicated according to sources. right in the document itself, it
was saying -- >> so it was a classified paragraph that was marked secret, but the first sentence red, "according to open sources ." >> that is a classic example of how that to be the case. >> ok, so then let us now talk about a little bit about -- we have this complicated statute, all of these obstacles to using the statutes. lucie, do we need any legislative fixes at all here, in your view, whether it is the statute, the reporters, some sort of reporter's shield law? let's start legislatively. >> based on the experiences i have had for the past years, with the shield law, the further
you can stay away from congress, the best you -- the better you are. i would hate to go to congress and mess around with the espionage statute, because i fear what we would end up with. that said, we have been having a very long, what had appeared to be productive experience trying to get the shield law out of the congress, and we really thought we were going to get something this year. it is not completely dead, but the clock is ticking, and i really believe that a federal shield law is absolutely essential to providing information to the public. and the versions that have survived the house of representatives and the senate judiciary committee have broad, broad, broad protection for national security information. and for the life of me, i cannot
figure out why this thing has been stalled. >> let me ask you about the shield law because reporters are callable in two ways. one is if they publish information -- are vulnerable in two ways. the run at least some risk that they will be -- although as i think you indicated, it has not happened yet -- we have lobbyists but not reported. the other issue is not reporters who are reporting classified information, but reporters who are subpoenaed for sources' where they are not the subject or target of the information, but they have information relevant to somebody else -- tell us about the shield law and how it relates to those two categories. >> when a reporter gets subpoenaed, it is almost always because the reporter is holding information that is believed to be relevant to an ongoing investigation, either by a federal prosecutor or by someone who is trying to pursue civil
litigation. most of the time in recent years, it has been a former disgruntled federal employee who is trying to sue their the reporter gets brought into it and i want to know what the subject -- or who the source of that information was and sometimes the reporter has been given the ability by the source to reveal the information, sometimes the source comes for themselves and sometimes the sources say you may not reveal my identity. reporters always thought for many, many years that they had first amendment protection for that part of those of you who are lawyers know that in 1972 there is a case where the united states supreme court said this is kind of interesting but it is a close call. we will not give you constitutional protection but
you want to go to congress and the state to get statutory protection, be our guest over the years, we have had more than 100 shield laws introduced in congress. at the center out, we have a shield laws are other types of protection by court rule or common law in all but one state, that one state is wyoming where apparently nobody really bothers to go after reporters so it has never been an issue. what ever. >> the fact that is cheney's home state -- >> i don't know. after the bush administration came in, one thing that i think happens with excessive secrecy is that eventually excess of secrecy leads to more government officials and employees leaking information because they see themselves as close eye-whistle blowers. that is the only way they can
get the information out. they give it to the media. they need confidentiality. a very logical result of the incredible secrecy we saw after 9/11 was this increase in subpoenas of reporters on the federal level. we have been able to demonstrate this. we went to congress. we are caught in the is a very ng -- it is just caught in committee. you cannot get anything for the united states senate these days unless you got far more than 60 votes because you need to vote on whether to have a vote. that is the situation we are in now. we know we have more than 70 votes for the bill if it actually goes through or comes to a we are hung up there. we have delays for two reasons. there were concerns that the
national could -- national- security exception did not go far enough. everybody agrees that national security information is off the table if you are a reporter and you are protecting some unruly passions according information, you'll just have to go to jail. that is the way it is if you want to protect a particular source. then we were making a fairly decent progress over the summer having lots of good meetings and we had wikileaks i that caused many people in congress -- it sucked all the air out of the room. they were working on amendments that set in case the national security exception is not clear enough, we will add this additional prong that says if anybody else out there who don't data over the internet, they are not covered either. i think we're basically running
out of time. >> mike, i wanted to ask you whether you are -- in your work if you are reporting the fear of prosecuting for disclosing, the fear of a subpoena, do you think that has affected you in terms of the reporting you have done? are there things you have not reported because you thought it might lead to your prosecution or the prosecution of your source? have you been deterred or acted differently in any way because of the threat of prosecution out there? >> no, i do what i think my job -- what i perceive my job to be. i don't worry about it. clearly, on some stories, you are aware that you could be scared into an area that could have legal implications and you tend to be very careful about how you handle that and try to avoid being in a situation where it is going to per and.
what i withhold information that i thought was in the public interest and that the public needed to know about because some prosecutor at the justice department might take a different view? no, it might affect the way i reported it. by the way, as a backdrop, every time you are reporting in this area, if a government official tells you if you report that it could harm the national security, you have a serious conversation about it. it is never something you blithely just brush aside for an >> is the concern for national security or your own neck? >> if someone tells you something that you are right -- it is not just a national security issue, it could be a public safety issue our law enforcement. somebody tells you that it will
endanger somebody go or put somebody at risk or harm somebody, you take that seriously. you are a human being and that is not what we are in the business to do is to harm people. many, many times i will lippold information on that score, not because it has national security information's but if someone says you put that person's name in, they will face repercussions or their life could be in danger or their family could have problems. that happens all the time. it is not because of the law. it is because you are a human being. we are not in the business to harm people. this is to educate the public. if i could go back to the shield law -- i should point out that as lucy did, when i last looked
at it, the national security acceptance were so broad as to make it absolutely meaningless in this area. there is no -- that law will not do anything to protect reporters reporting on national security cases. anybody who thinks that it does is kidding themselves. it will not knowledgeable law one bit in that area. -- it will not nudge below one bit in that area. the biggest threat to reporters is in the civil a rim. -- i read that. there has been some really bad rulings in the district. that gives license to litigants to subpoena reporters to identify their sources and help them advance a lawsuit, a privacy act lawsuit. you're not -- they are not suing the reporter but they want the
reporter's information to help them make their case. unfortunately, the court of appeals in the district of columbia has upheld that. i have had some unpleasant experiences as a result of that. i think that is really where the threat to reporters' ability to do their jobs is. judges have ruled that litigants can get access to our sources are. i think that is a bad thing. it is nothing to do with national security. it has to do with a litigant trying to advance his case. >> let's step back and go back to our growing catalog of the difficulties faced in prosecuting a classified information disclosure case. let's turn to a new topic, the classified information
procedures act. let me turn to ken. this statute ties in with the concept of gray mail. tell us what that is. what challenges does it present today and the prosecution of cases? >> the classified information procedures act is known as cipa and it grew out of gray mail which is a term that was, by prosecutors and it was defense attorneys representing people in national security cases like sci a person that disclose classified information. that person is being prosecuted. the defense attorney in the discovery process demand information from the government saying that this information is relevant for persons -- purposes
of discovery. much of it would be classified. you had the government in a dilemma as to whether to go ahead and prosecute this guy who leaked the information and make an example of him, but if we do that we will disclose more classified information because this defense attorney has convince this judge that this is information they need to proceed with the case. what congress did is they came up with cipa and it is an overlay on the criminal justice process is says that if there is classified information packets implicated in a criminal case, there is a process by which the drugs, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney can litigate the admissibility of the classified information and do so in the wake that the letter k -- do so in a way that is not going to harm the case. you have to lump of the
information together. if you want to go forward with the case, you'll have to accept that. the judge's concern to the prosecution and asked if they accept that. if you don't, you have the right to dismiss the case. it might not be worth it to release the informationcipa has worked fairly well in practice. it was an attempted to allow this to be litigated in a way that you did not hammer to classified information. it is still not foolproof. you have cipa so why are you worried about bringing national security cases. some cases will not be brought to us for that reason. there is still the defendant often gets exposure to the classified information in the litigation process and also it is used where there is a
constitutional right to open the program very judges are reluctant to close a courtroom to shield discussions about classified information them u. >>." we employed a process you called gray male and it was interesting. i blame the bill for teaching enough about classified information and how it works that enabled us to do it. in our case and many other cases, the disclosures were all oral. in order to prove that the oral disclosures or discloses a class of automation, the prosecutors gave us the pretrial discovery with traffic -- classified and permission from the government which had the same information that our clients had discussed contained in the classified documents. they wanted to reject everything out except for the warner to
matching lines and say they -- they wanted to be able to say to the jury that the reason that you know that this conversation was classified is because we will now show you a classified document. the same information appears that they would reject everything else out. it appears in a paragraph that has a s for sequence. we argued based on the lessons i got from bill, we pleaded to the judge that not every sentence in a bill marked secret is not necessarily classified. the fact that matches a sentence in a paragraph mark secret is a stark but maybe that is one of the on classified sentence says. if you look four lines down, one of the sentences that the asvernment wants to rejedact the source for the submission. this information came from a bug
that was planted in the ayatollah's beard without his knowledge or something equally amazing. i made that up. i would then say to the judge, how can they prove that the information is classified because it matches sentence number one. that paragraph may have been classified because of the bug in the beard paragraph -- sentence. we could show the jury sentenced number 5 because the jurors may conclude and believe was that the matching sentence was not classified, it was the other sentence. the prosecutor said it was called gray mail. they are trying to bring in classified information that is not an issue. you want to use the document to prove this day and was classified. we are entitled to the bug in the beard statement as well. the cipa statute helps of this
issue but it does not eliminate it. it moves into a priest of stayed 2 before the judge. -- a move into a pre-trial stage to before the judge. the cipa process is another challenge, shall we say, to the prosecution as a contumely -- contemplates bringing one of these and the great male issue is one. the prosecution has to realize that there is at least a possibility that the defense attorneys will be able to persuade the judge that they need more classified information that has never been an issue until then to prove their defense case. ok, i think this is a good time to take questions from the audience with the caveat that we have not listed all the
challenges to prosecuting classified information. it would have taken -- it would not have taken us three or four years to prosecute apac case. we have two microphones and if anybody has a question -- mr. rosen, please,. ,. come up. >> i was one of the defendants in a apac case. it was pointed out that the costs of the defense attorneys in the apac case was $12 million. the prosecutors were able to force our employer to dismiss us and to seize the payment of our attorneys fees. we later on thankfully were able to force them nonetheless to pay
a bargained down number on the attorneys' fees. >> significantly barreded down. >> our attorneys were willing to continue defending us for roughly two years by -- while not being paid a ball and running the meter. i wonder whether such powerful institutions such as the newspapers could face a prosecution that cost $12 million or $20 million tax i wonder if the board of directors in today's economics of the media would tolerate such a thing. i wonder whether they could not find some other victim who would be forced to plead out because they did not have the advantages that we had. i know you questions but my final comment is that a high percentage of these costs were imposed by cipa. it cost so much primarily
because four years of hearings for the cipa process. we never got to a trial. the case was dismissed before trial in our case. as i understand it, the majority of the fees that were run up or run up because of the meeting the requirements of the classified information protection act to. . >> since you said nice things about the attorneys, you'll get a pass. the reason the cipa proceedings to so long as those -- is because we had a conscientious judge. it was a lot of allegedly classified information at issue. he went through it line by line. why do we need this sentence? why do need that word? what damage will there be to the government if it is disclosed? what role will display and the defense? he was very conscientious about it. he did not get paid any more or
less for doing this but in terms of the fees, it drove up the fees quite astronomically. i would put that as an impediment on the defense side. the resources required to defend these cases are quite enormous. >> it seems to me that cipa is not only problem for the government. as i recall from the morison case, the defense necessarily get access to all the classified information the government is trying to keep out. i would like to hear some discussion of that. >> i am happy to respond to that or deferred ken. >> that is the purpose cipa, to draw the line between those materials that might be classified that the defense and the defendant should have access to and they might be then be able to put on in open trial and those materials which the
defense should not have access to. go back to the origin of cipa. it was the practice gray mail but the point was that the defense will ask for a large volume of materials much of which is classified. the more material it is, the government is more likely to say no. where along that spectrum is the line between what is relevant to the defense, possibly exculpatory, that the defense has to have and what is that the defense is not constitutionally required to have to put on a defense? >> once you get to a trial under cipa, the government gets to use all this secret stuff that the defense cannot say. is that correct? >> what happened to cipa, when
there is information that is arguably relevant, the government has a few choices. sometimes there is one section that allows the government if it thinks it might be relevant but probably isn't to go to the judge and show it to him but not to us. bacon's a to the judge that we want to be good citizens and weak -- they can beat a good citizens and they are telling the judge this. the judge might turn to the defense and say is -- he is entertaining the information. he may not show it yet but tell me your defense of what you want to do. i will look at the documents and see if you should get them. that is the first that. then there are documents that the defense gets which are clearly irrelevant by cannot show their clients. we, the lawyers, got a lot of stuff that we could not share with our clients. it is odd representing your client or the most important
information you can't talk to him about we would say, by the way, i spent the last three months to keep this information out of the case. what information? i can't tell you. thank you very much. it was that sort of discussion. >> the $12 million figure kind of struck me. i imagine that some additional multiple millions were spent by the government to bring that case. when that amount of resources and energy goes into bringing a case that collapses, is there a price to be paid in the justice department for the people who brought the case to begin with or at least a reevaluation goes on? i wonder if there is, do you think that the current just a part is keeping that in mind in this current extraordinary state
of a week prosecutions they have brought in the last few months? >> very good question. >> let me parse that out. you see a number of lead prosecutions. i just know about what i read in the newspapers. they are not recorders. they're not the recipients of the information. the government has made the assessment that this was important information. it was irresponsibly disclosed. we need to make an example of people who are doing this because we are hemorrhaging classified information i can go through chapter and verse of examples of things i know that were released while i was in government because people just want to talk about things. it drove me crazy. it was compromising sources and methods. i am sympathetic to the new administration and what they're doing in this area. >> to your question about what happens in a case like this when it collapses, i don't know.
i was there for one sort of spend of the case. i was not there from beginning to end. you can tell by our discussions c aboutipa that these are complex cases. the decision to bring a case like this is based upon prediction. you are predicting what a judge will do down the road. i am sure when they start -- decided to charge the case come the cipa portion would be hotly contested. you know you'll be up against very able counsel and you are predicting that you think you can prosecute the case. when an agency, to us and says there is information that was disclosed, one thing they want to know is do you think it will compromise further information? if so, we don't want you to go forward. we have to predict to them
whether we will getcipa rulings in our favor. i am sure that process was done the ruling that came out in this case did not play out with that prediction. >> which does not mean that anybody was irresponsible or irrational in the decision making. it might mean that the ultimate decision by the judge did not track with what people expected them. q uuoted judgeellis and one of the standards was that the government had to prove that the disclosure was not done for a salutary effect. it would not cover a whistleblower who thought he was doing the public some good. >> the most prominent case that this justice department brought is it seems he was exactly that. he was trying to get information out about an nsa program that
was costing too much money and that was his primary motive. if the standards that judgeellis set is the standard that the government go by -- >> he was not being charged with espionage. he was charged with mishandling. >> for not returning it. >> that is not the only charge. >> there are a few things. decision is not binding but he was the first one to articulate this. apa all thec espionage case, most of the instances were a government official. when you get a classified document, you'll have already signed up for the classification process for you have undertaken nondisclosure. you have waived your first amendment rights. for the privilege of serving the public and for getting
classified information, you have a heightened responsibility. when you prosecute somebody who is a government official who has not -- who has promised not to disclose government information, the standards are not the same that would apply to the non- government official who received it. this case called uponjudge ellis, it was the first time what standard should apply when it is a non-government official and whether that would apply to these folks are governed officials and whether his opinion will go beyond the eastern district of virginia where he decided. these are open issues. the justice department is entitled to fight to that. >> but if that were the role that so long as you are doing this not to help the enemy or not to enter the united states
but because you think it is in the interest of the united states, that means that every governmental employee has the discretion to decide what is best for the united states. i cannot say classification system working based on how many millions of federal employes think of what's good for the country. >> the starting premise is that the classification system is not working and that is where we started from there is much over- classification. that is your reason for bringing these cases. >> jeff and i testified on the hill about this very issue about government and police, particularly -- government employees particularly the ones
with good intentions and how do you prosecute cases and make it clear that people can't willy- nilly disclose information that is classified by deal with the real whistleblower. the upshot is that you need to have effected whistleblower protection. you need to have whistleblower procedures. if i am an employee and the intelligence community and i see something that is problematic. i don't call my friend in the press and drove out there. i go up the chain or i will be protected by doing a great it gets to somebody to look into it and take action whether that's a i theyg or the intelligence community. there are several different whistleblower divisions. that is probably your answer if you want a system where people can blow the whistle on misconduct but not have full unfettered discretion to disclose secrets to the press
that the answer is even simpler than that. >> as we saw in the panel this morning ch on theeney quote, information is the coin of the realm in this town. when i was back in the pentagon, one of the things i had responsibility for was the counterintelligence programs. in terms of addressing a the le imagingaks, one thing i wanted to do is to set up a training program for senior level people, people who are not used to dealing with intelligence products or maybe they come from think tanks. i wanted to give the d mkesk- side training. when you need to deal with the media and think tanks and other governments, here is how you do it. this is how you'd do what cheney says you do. when i did that, i was ridiculed within the pentagon.
the analogy i can up with is when people want to give condoms to teenagers to prevent unwanted pregnancies -- people said that that i wanted to encourage a leaks by giving this training. one thing i was left with in theapac case, if the government had devoted a fraction of the resources in terms of educating the senior policy makers of how to conduct everyday business without damaging national security or disclosing sources, that would have addressed a big part of the problem. to this day, i don't think that ahas happened to. .> = >> can you imagine any circumstances under which journalists could be prosecuted for violating the as the not statutes n usedo said and you could not recall before your
lifetime, in 1942, the chicago tribune revealed the fact that the united states was breaking the japanese code. the japanese have taken notice of that and changed their code, could there have been a viable prosecution? >> no, >> why not? it was a disclosing the cost the lives of thousands of american soldiers and prolonged the war, it makes as forfeit our valuable window into japanese military movement -- >> i can't think of one. that particular thing did not happen. it was largely because of the context back then. information like that was probably not going to make it to the japanese. is that potentially may be something -- i don't know?
. i would be comfortable defending of the chicago tribune for doing that. as an editor, what i've done that? that would have been a bone headed thing to do. none of the journalists i have been dealing with in my professional 35-year career would do something that moronic. i am not an ethicist. i am a lawyer. [laughter] but there is a code of ethics that the society of professional journalists has out there and it is the most common code of ethics out there. number one, speak the truth. hold important people, those in power accountable and also in general minimize harm. in my experience, everybody who is a trained professional journalist out there working
particularly in this town is going to adhere to those principles% that is really why can't imagine that situation happening right now. >> under el judgelis' interpreted -- under judge ellis' interpretation, he made clear and the prosecutors agreed that there was no difference between our clients lobbyists and the press. both enjoyed first amendment protection of equal strength. therefore, i am comfortable saying that the standards he applied in our case he would applied in a case against the press. that case would have satisfied that this was potentially damaging and they knew it. there is not a saltatory motive. it would have gone to trial. the government would have had the opportunity to prove that to a jury. >> everybody thumps the table as
to the danger is that results from the release of classified information. in my experience, inevitably, they are exaggerated. look at wikileaks in the last few weeks. all the harm that the pentagon originally said would come from the afghan war league sent secretary gates last week wrote a letter saying that actually, they have not been able to identify any harm coming from that league. k. what government tends not to talk about is the real danger that results from over- classification. i could go on and on starting with the 9/11 attacks and how excessive secrecy within the government led to the restriction of information that had been passed along might well
have been able to stop the information that the cia had. because they held it so tightly, they would not share with the fbi and that could lead to the identity of two of the hijackers who were in the united states. there are multiple examples of where over-classification, over- secrecy results in real harm to the national security that tends to get left out of -- it is not just an impediment to the prosecution's case. it has ramifications far beyond that. >> the other question? r.s, sir pare >> this is one that meets the criteria of today's discussion which is the nexus of national security and criminal law and first amendment which is not in the same mode we have been talking about but i think is
still relevant. recently there was a threat and burning ko of theran which could be -- burning of the koran. i question the media and the lawyers preses. from the preachers point of view, if they was going to go ahead with this act and he was positive there is a definite cause and effect and it would have resulted in harm to soldiers, would this be deemed free speech and protected like flag-burning or might it be more akin to non-protected free speech as in yelling fire at a crowded theater? for the media, the question arose as to the responsibility
aspect of covering this. store you certainly have a right to cover it and you had mentioned the ethics of it and minimizing harm and so forth. covering the story versus what i will call the professional or social or moral responsibility akin to covering it. thank you. >> why don't we start with ourpress folks in terms of covering that kind of story. >> i thought the coverage of that guy was way excessive. i would object to any restriction put on the coverage of it. on the other hand, that does not mean that we have to cover the way we did. it was offensive speech. while i was probably the
responsibility of the media to take note of what is going on and became a political issue of controversy, that did not obligate us to have the guy on the air every 20 minutes on cable. tv had he gone through with it, i would certainly have minimized coverage as much as possible. ." >> i think he had a right of free speech to do it but i think he was an idiot body had a right to do a bette it. >> and a protest about the military funeral at the church in kansas raises similar issues as well. it is whether they can be prevented from demonstrating a protesting. yes? >> my question is for a w mr.aynestein. i was wondering if someone
should never be prosecuted because they did blow the whistle through proper channels and hypothetically would you ever be able to use those protected disclosures as evidence in a criminal trial against them? >> you are talking about proper channels? i was referring about the whistle blower act. there are several different statutes that say if you are a government employee and you have information in a classified area of that you think needs to get out, you can go through this channel to get it up through the inspector general. >> and those are the channels i am referring to. >> you will not suffer any criminal consequences for taken that up through the channels. if you disclose to the inspector general of the cia that things were happening in a classified program which are wrong, you will not suffer any consequences from that because you're
following hit the statutory mechanism. if it goes to the intelligence committee, it would be the same thing. they are clear. they are entitled to get that information. i am not seeing how you would face the prosecution for disclosing this information under the whistle-blower statute that it would surprise you to find out that among the recent spate of prosecutions that were so quiet late whispering about around here that some of those prosecutions, it would be completely illegitimate if there were based on protected disclosures? i am familiar with the whistle- blower protection act. that is what i do for a living. i wanted to make sure i understood that it would be absolutely improper to basic prosecution unprotected disclosures. >> i am not sure where the criminal violation would be if you follow the prescribed path in the statute. if you did that but also talked to your friend the reporter over a beer and disclose the same
thing, then you have a problem. >> is that a problem under the espionage act? >> sure, possibly under the espionage act. you get into the statutory elements and find out whether it's it's under the act. a reporter who was not part of the whistle blower mechanism is what i am saying. >> i will leave it at that, thanks. >> thank you. ok, well thank you all for attending today. thank you all on the panel. i hope you enjoyed our panel today. i will turn the podium back to john. >> one thing i will do is i want to thank the vanderbilt amendment center and this whole floor and started off with a short phone call with jill erschel who is a director of
thenewseum. those organizations, hats off to them to for bring us here and thank them for this locale and everyone else for participating today. we appreciate it [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [general chater] [general chatter] se]owd noid
four days away and each night here on cspan we have been showing debates from key races around the country. tonight, we started 8:00 p.m. eastern with a live debate between candidates for the colorado of governors office. you can see that live at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. at 9:00, it is the first of two senate debates starting with alaska and then new hampshire and the focus turns to governor's races in illinois and later hawaii. from the national journal this afternoon, a last push for endangered democrats, this weekend president obama will campaign in bridgeport, conn, philadelphia, and cleveland to rally young voters on college campuses in predominantly black areas. the chicago rally will take place a short walk from his hyde park home.
>> with just days to election day, follow the key races and candidates on c-span with debates every night and go on line to view archived debates at the cspan video library. visit our politics page. this weekend, see the jon stewart/stephen colbert rally this saturday live at noon on saturday. we'll show lots of campaign events, debates, and interviews and open our phone lines for your comments about the campaign. follow the election coverage through election day. >> now the final debate between the louisiana u.s. senate candidates. a poll of seven other likely voters conducted and released on october 26 found the incumbent leading.
we have divided the hour into four rounds of questions pretty canada will have time to enter. the first candidate will have a certain time to respond. our first question goes to mr. vitter. >> several of our questions tonight will come from our viewers. you have been a supporter of the tea party movement. one of the stated goals of this organization has been to take our country back.
someone asked "do you want to take the country back from? >> thank you to all the stations for hosting us tonight in this important debate. i'm looking forward to an hour- long conversation with you, the louisiana voter. i am very proud to have the support of the tea party as a conservative. i believe the tea party represents mainstream values in america, not extremism as my opponent has said. my opponent on several occasions has denigrated the tea party. he compared it to the far left activist group moveon.org which is a real insult. he said during the debates over obamacare were fear mongering. >> what does it mean to say we have come to take our country back? what does that mean?
>> if i could continue -- he made comments about nancy pelosi saying she is an american. what many american citizens think, tea party members and others mean by that is that in the last few years, we have gone away to the left in policy out of this very liberal administration and very liberal congress. it not only threatens our fiscal future, it also threatens our values and fundamental freedoms in america. >> let me just start that david is starting off with the attack but never wanted to talk about the issue but that is okay. i have an interest in the past week by four newspapers because they say i am effective, independent, willing to reach across the aisle in contrast to david vitter who is one of the least effective members of the senate. he has not earned a second term.
this is what the takeback is all about but it should not be to take back to the right or left. it should be take back to the middle where america was when all our people who preceded me have been except for david vitter. >> our next question -- >> our statewide poll that came out this week shows that 3/4 of the voters believe you are most likely to support president obama and his policies. you have said in the past that to give the president an "a." >> if you take the whole tax, i give him an a for effort in response to the bp disaster. i gave c for the administration. >> you said that you gave him an a for effort in trying to get his policies in but that to give congress a lower grade because of getting in his way back up
part of the problem we have with the congress is the partisanship. >> do you stand behind that comment? >> i have got away from giving grades. let the teachers do great. he has an average response with the administration. >> you give him that a? s a for effortis eight is good bet if you look at my voting record, i am right in the center of the house of representatives. david vitter is to the far right. i'd vote with the president regardless of who we is when i think he is right. i voted against several of his very important issues that he did not like and i'm sure my leadership did not like. that is what i do better than david vitter ever has. >> the key question in this election is do you want a u.s. senator who will strongly
support president obama's policies or do you think real checks and balances in congress to get away from this a large to the left. the difference between us could not be more clear. charlie strongly endorsed barack obama for president. this year, just like you said, he gave president obama an "a" he supported the bail outs that president obama supporter. he supported the trillion dollars stimulus which is a failure. he supported the obama debt. i am in the opposite position on all of that. it is a crystal clear difference. >> our next question goes to mr vitter. >> you have supported extending bush-year tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of americans. with the costing an additional $750 billion over the next 10
years, it will have to be paid for and what programs do you think can be cut? >> i disagree with the premise that in order to keep tax rates where they are and not increase taxes somehow we need to pay for that. i think that as washington- speak, not louisiana-speak. i want to raise taxes on anyone in the middle of a recession. my opponent does. he supports the obama position. i think it would be economically disastrous to be raising taxes on anyone including small businesses which need to be the engine of job growth. having said that, i am for cutting spending in washington and reducing the deficit. i would start with on spent stimulus funds, $232 billion. the stimulus has been a failure. i would go to other programs. we have billions of dollars of unused federal property. we could have a program to sell and get rid of that all unused
federal property, $4 billion in one year alone. we send checks to dead farmers through government programs. we need oversight. that could save over $1 billion per year. >> it is a misnomer to say that the bush tax cuts continuing for the top bridge would not have to be paid for it you would have to pay that $750 billion because it was supposed to sunset. it is not an increase. >> the premise that i disagree with is to avoid a tax increase, we somehow have to pay for it. it is not the government's money, it is our money. that is the point. have voted for paygo. he should have voted for the cabin spending -- capped in
spending. if he has his way, $4 trillion over the next 10 years, if you recall what it wants to do on the health care rather than trying to perfect it and make a better, $100 trillion estimate a cost to repeal and go back and start over. >> we have the next question. >> a recent investigative report said that some of the top criminal investigations from the epa or in favor of banning bp from doing any business with the u.s. government because of serious environmental and safety violations. that was before the massive gulf oil spill. in light of that disaster, do you believe such a ban should be put in place? >> in spite of what mr. vitter voted for which is to take the police off of wall street and
don't worry what is going on out there, we need to make sure that all laws are there and safety is number one. we should never have to worry about another bp explosion. >> what about banning bp from doing business? >> as far as banning a company, if they are bad players, if you make one mistake, if we finish with the commission and get the information, if they have been that bad a player, maybe we to consider additional fines or penalties or a bad. i am an oil and gas person. it is good for the economy in louisiana. i want to make sure that bp stays as solid as possible. i want them to pay those fines and penalties because i won restoration money. i want the people lost so much to be made whole. i am not ready to shut down somebody that will be a bailout for the people in the state spent right now you are saying no to that theme we should make
sure that >> we should make sure that bp is held accountable for all damages without limits. my upon it has were misrepresented my actions in this regard. i want to say that clearly, without limits. secondly, we should apply the same standards to everybody who wants to drill in the gulf or elsewhere. if they meet those standards, including bp. if they don't meet the standards, anyone who does not meet them should be shut down and is allowed from that activity. >> based on safety violations and as oil spill, should they be banned for doing government with the business? >> not necessarily, but we need stringent regulations in order to do future activity. >> the final question goes to mr. vitter. >> linda road in and said she had not been hearing a lot of
the campaign between the attack at about something she cares deeply about and that is putting people back to work. give us two examples of how you will create jobs to boost the economy. >> -- >> and the failed stimulus and do not spend the remaining $232 billion. the stimulus has been a failure. mr. melancon supported it. even by the white house estimates, which i do not necessarily believe, it has saved or created 9000. we have gotten 0.4% of the stimulus funds in louisiana. in terms of jobs, save or created, that is $342,000 per job. that is wildly irresponsible. it is a boondoggle. >> what would you do group -- to create jobs?
>> i would stop spiraling spending and debt. that is part of the big problem we are in. we should be keeping tax rates where they are, not increasing taxes on anyone, including small business. again, my opponent, mr. melancon wants to do that. he adopts the obama position. increased taxes on small business even during the recession. >> he is a pathological liar, folks. would you believe something just because you have said it, there are tax breaks in the stimulus package for small businesses. there was a bill several weeks ago that senator landrieu passed that provided tax breaks for small businesses. taking money from t.a.r.p. that has paid back the government. >> i have been a business owner and i understand how to do that. i have a small business proposal that cuts taxes. david was the deciding vote against it.
on education in investing in education and doing, unlike david vitter -- making the biggest education cuts to history -- to education in the history of this country, i think we need to be investing in these kids, all weather is in technical learning or college. everybody cannot be a college graduate. we need to invest in everything. david vitter believed to do nothing is the answer to everything. >> that concludes our first round. in the second round, each can three minutes to respond. we will become a question for mr. melancon. >> the associated press reported that you were one of 10 members of congress who took part in the 2008 trip to antarctica to study climate change. it cost them $150,000. it included a cable car ride through the australian outback,
the rain forest, a visit to the south pole. is this a good use of public funds? >> every session of congress, every two years, the committee goes to antarctica. i was on the science committee. mr. vitter did not been invited -- did not get invited, because to what people with open minds. -- they want people with open minds. we are 65 hours flying time from 11 days, 35,000 air miles to get into antarctica, 19 degrees. -- iot is -- it is minus 19 degrees there. it is not like it is a junket. we spend the most money in science at the south pole. there were two teams that with their physically. -- were there physically at the mcmurdo station. the grounds we saw were about the size of what is going on and what is happening with the ice
floes that are down there. the research that is being done at antarctica. we looked at the barrier reef. we met with scientists. these are not getting in a buggy and right. -- and ride. we spent hours at every location come up of 5:30 a.m. and on the air plane by 8:00. this was learning so that when we come back and we are asked to take a look at what we are appropriating and where it is being spent, that we can be informed to make the decision. mr. vitter sticks his had in the -- head in the sand. aegis says no to everything. >> -- he just says no to everything. >>but what did you learn? there is also report that you are supporting coastal erosion. it is with you have to go to the south pole. >> it is because of the ice that has fallen off. the ocean rights is going to be -- rise is going to be a problem -- a severe problem for a state like ours.
>> if you want to pick on one little item -- >> the year before that, you went to paris on a jet that was paid for with public funds. your wife accompanied. >> my wife likes to be with me. >> what do you say to people who are struggling right now and they see lawmakers taking these trips and they wonder if this is a good use of public funds? >> people want is to legislate -- us to legislate on informed members. -- as an informed member. i went to the energy and economic commission that was part of nato. that is there in paris. that is what we did. we talked about the projections for energy and worldwide for consumption, who was playing with him. -- with whom. we had georgia and russia playing with each other. that was about energy. we are in a war. that is about energy. looking at the entire picture globally, every vote that we make in decisions that have been -- make as a member of
congress and decisions in congress made in the united states but that all our nato allies. it has an impact on them. going to war without seeking consultation puts them in harm's way. if you look at what happened to us in afghanistan, we are paying for that by lack of support from our allies. >> by next question goes vitter to mr.. -- our next question goes to mr. bitter. -- vitter. >> we received a number of e- mails, a viewer's question your involvement in the dc prostitution ring. you have called it a serious sin. what was your serious sin? what was your serious issue? >> three years ago when i discuss this directly with citizens, i did say in a sincere way that i committed a very bad mistake in my marriage, a very serious sin. this is going back now about 10 years. there was extensive reporting
about it in terms of the phone calls. i said i had fixed that in my marriage several years ago. i had received the loving forgiveness from my wife and rom my children and also from my god. i committed to the citizens of louisiana to redouble my efforts on their path. -- their behalf. i believe louisiana citizens heard me prepare i believe they understood me. they understood what i was saying. i that to overwhelmingly actions -- got two overwhelming reactions from louisiana citizens. there is an outpouring of support. it was humbling to me. it was very touching to my wife. it shows the gulf between how
louisianans think and how they operate and how washington political acts think and feel. >> the second reaction i got -- i got this as i held a town hall meetings -- i do get least one town hall meeting in every parish and every congress. it means i have done 200. i do telephone town hall meetings in addition. i am interacting with folks -- >> what is your reaction? >> i'm interacting with boats of -- folks all the time. enter into the concerns, it was enough not about my path. it was not about my past 10 years ago. it is about our future. >> you are a former prosecutor. you are an attorney. did you violate the law when you committed this sin? >> but i'm not a prosecutor. >> did you violate this law? >> you can look back and
continue to write stories about it. that is your decision. it is a free country. i looked them in the eye. i spoke to them sincerely. i think they understood me. >> if i could just follow up with you. >> i am looking forward and not back. >> kenya talk to the voters and -- can you look to camera and talk to the voters and tell them if you violate the law. >> yes or no, sir? >> you can look back 10 years. and can save fixated on that. my job is to look forward. >> is a question of accountability. -- it is a question of accountability, mr. ritter. >> i understand. you may not like the answer. >> give us a yes or no. explain either one. >> i think the people of louisiana have understood exactly what i did prepare a i -- said to them.
i think they -- think they want me to focus on the key challenges we face as a state and a country. that is what they tell me directly. it may not be what the media badger's me with. i can tell you that is what they tell me directly. >> the next question is for mr. melancon. >> mr. vitter has said you had a troubling record on immigration reform. he said he voted against -- he claims that you voted against stopping taxpayer benefit from going to illegal immigrant and made it harder for police to stop and obtain them. -- and detain them. can you clear up your record on immigration reform? >> i should not have to defend it. since it has been lied about, i guess i need to. i'm one of the hawks in the house. i have a better record in three of our republican congressman. the drones, more people on the border. he voted against an amendment to put 1000 more people on the board.
national guard and patrol people. i have been supportive of protecting our borders and making sure illegals are not in here. some of the people that mr. vitter is supported by -- some want cheap labor. they do not want them voting. as far as my record, i make sure there is no provisions. i have been a staunch hawk on border protection. there is no provision for social security or medicare or medicaid in any of the alley ws -- any of the laws in this country. i never wavered from that. mr. vitter has a problem with the truth. he will not admit that he lied and broke the law. , if yoube a policeman it di have not broken the law. you can be a teacher. you can be a fire man if you have not broke the law. he can even work for the city of new orleans. if you broke the law, you cannot. but we are going to have the u.s. senator that broke the law.
heard from what various solutions -- >> what are your solutions for illegal immigration? >> we need to do a complete reform. amnesty is not in the cards. >> you do not support a pass to u.s. citizenship? >> i support anybody that wants to become a citizen to go through the process of becoming a citizen as allowed by law. not to get in some extraordinary -- give them some extraordinary ability to come in. >> so no to these new ideas? about the path of citizenship over five-year period? >> no. >> go back and start the process. >> we have 20 million americans, do you want all of them to leave? >> if they want to be citizens. americans, if they are illegal. >> should they be sent come? -- sent home? >> i do not know how you gather and collected them. that will be a problem. we do not have the money or
wherewithal to bring them together. if those employees that are employing and knowingly, that is -- employing them knowingly, that is where we could the enforcement. that is where we start this. allotted them come here. a lot of them come here. after hurricane katrina, thank god some of them were here, otherwise we would still be waiting with blue roofs. >> there are immigrants who help us. >> there are immigrants to help us, whether they are legal or illegal. it is all based upon documentation. >> we do not support a path to citizenship for the 20 million that are here? you want them all to leave and that is not going to happen. so what is your -- >> i need to know what the pa th is. that has been the problem. no one has been able to give us serious suggestions. >> the number one suggestion is letting then joined the -- them join the military.
>> that does not sound like a bad idea, but they need to speak english first. >> you have been strongly criticized by a number of groups were a campaign ad criticizing mr. melancon on immigration. blatantlyribe it as blake racist. they called for an apology. do you offer them an apology? >> i stand by the bad. -- the ad. let me tell you why. i support illegal immigration process to allow people to pursue the american dream. that is when the great things about our history. i absolutely support that. i do not support a free and open border, unfettered, open to access with millions of illegals coming across it. that is what we have particularly at the mexican border. we have an illegal immigration problem. a huge part of that is the mexican border. that is a fact. that is not a stereotype. 97% of our apprehensions of
illegal is that the mexican border. that is a fact. that is not a stereotype. 80% of the 15 million illegals in this country have come through the border from mexico and south american country. that is a fact. that is not a stereotype. there is one thing that is offensive. those are mr. melancon's that he voted for. they are all documented. there on my website -- they are on my website davidvitter.com. let's talk about what they are. one would be clamping down. there was an effort to clamp down on that. he voted no. a second vote was the same thing with regard to actual welfare checks. there is an effort to clamp down on that and have real enforcement to prevent that from happening.
mr. melancon voted no. the third vote would authorize police to arrest and detain illegal slyke under the arizona law. -- illegals like under the arizona law. i think this is a key part did the solution for the i support the arizona law. these three boats are offensive. -- votes are offensive. i think they really should be the basis for an apology. >> mr. vitter how do you respond to the catholic archdiocese twho say this at that into the -- ad played into offensive racial stereotypes? >> what is a stereotype? >> they are talking about the images. >> is it a stereotype that folks coming across the border are a problem and a book like that? -- they look like that? that is a fact. it is not a stereotype. but i let's get away from this
ridiculous political correctness and facei will tell you the fundamental problem of these groups have. it is that they support amnesty and i do not. it is all of these proved they -- all of these groups that you are talking about they supported the 2007 immigration bill with a big amnesty provision. i thought that on the floor of the senate. thank god we won. we defeated that bill. >> we moved to the third round of questions. we will start with 2.5 minutes for each question. we will call this the jump-all around. whichever candidate can jump in first. we will make sure each candidate has equal time. >> nothing has galvanized the fears of my area as social security and the fact there'll be no cost-of-living increase next year for the second year in a row. the system is in distress.
they are pushing back their retirement age. -- and there are discussions on pushing back the retirement age and how to fund social security in the years to come. how would you support limited privatization or raising the retirement age? >> when he ran for office, he talked about walking away trust fund and never touching itthen he wanted to privatize it again prepare we know it happened to our investments. >> he has had several opportunities to try and make sure that we protect social security. if he voted for the stimulus package, he would have given everyone a $250 check. this past year, it did not get a cost-of-living increase. mr. vitter says one thing and does another.
read what about you, mr. malone: -- >> what about you, mr. melancon? >> let me be clear. i do not the solution is the stimulus. mr. melancon continued to support the stimulus. [cross-talk] >> we need to come together around real social security reform. i support voluntary private accounts of people can have a nest egg that they own. not mandatory, voluntary. leavitt of to the individual. leave it up to the individual. i support call as this year and next year. that is parted the solution for seniors. those things are part of the solution. >> you are going to change the way are done? that was written several administrations ago. possibly a republican administration. >> i will tell you what other thing i would change. i would change this system of automatic pay raise for members of congress. i have that bill in the senate.
>> mr. melancon, what are your solutions? >> members of congress are getting automatic pay raises. give me a break. we pass on a bipartisan basis. >> you are living out your -- off of your campaign fund and supporting your bad habits with the money, if the go to the court records, -- if you go to the court records, for when asked about getting the information, and it was quashed by your friend and former schoolmates. how would you saw it? -- >> how would you solve social security? >> social security did not become a problem last week. dave vitter has been in congress 12 years. they had a chance to fix social security, health care, and immigration. we need to lock away the funds, as mr. vitter originally proposed. but he then changed his position.
if you say that money and lock away their trust fund, we are good for another 75 or 80 years. >> is raising the retirement age an option? >> i do not want to. we have raised the retirement -- past congresses have raised the age. is being to the point that some people may not live that long. we can start reducing the rate and then bring it up to the higher levels of income. >> we are out of time. next question. >> a report says $4 billion is being spent on the campaign this year. because of the recent supreme court decision, corporations and unions can now get involved in campaigns in an unprecedented way. a lot of people are concerned about corporations that can make donations. they do not have to release the donors that are involved. corporations and organizations that may very well have people from outside of this country as
shareholders of their organizations or contributors to their organizations. people are saying this is placing our democracy at risk. would you authored legislation -- support or author legislation that would require full disclosure and transparency for any money spent on any federal election by any entity? >> we have that bill. he voted against it. >> it is a disclosure bill. i voted for it. we ought to know every dollar being spent. it is up seen the amount of -- an obscene amount money and time consuming for members of congress. the other people but are industries deserve to be at the table like we are. -- the other people that were in this race deserved to be at the table like we are. they do not have the money. this is america. everybody has an opportunity. david vitter has received over a million dollars from wall street. over $1 million from big oil. that is obscene.
>> we will fund campaigns. -- i would support legislation to reform the way we fund campaigns. we should not have this correct system. -- corrupt system. anybody that gives says this has to beat the pros. it had been disclosed, if they need to put their name on the line. >> what i believe in most is freedom and complete and absolute disclosure and transparency. i do not agree with overregulation. i supported that consistently. >> it says it took them on the funds. they will spend it on their own. you were a against it. >> i did not say that. >> we need to talk about the trial lawyers. he flew to canada. >> if we want to talk about
campaign cash support, i think we need to talk about mr. canadan's -- he flew to during the oil disaster -- >> they were capping the well. i went to a fund-raiser. keith jones whose son died on the rate was there. -- the rig was there. to think you is they are trying to get money? u.s. concerns about the people. he was worried about the people that were injured. chance. mr. bittvitter's >> in the middle of the oil disaster, mr. melancon traveled out of the country. >> let's talk about campaign money. >> how to keep foreign money out of it? >> it should be in the gulf. complete disclosure would be a part of that. we are talking about funding for campaigns. flying to canada -- outside the country. picking up campaign checks from
trial lawyers. they were literally meeting about how to profit from the victims of the oil disaster. >> how to help the people that you and god are supposed to represent from being damaged by big oil -- that you and i are supposed to represent from being damaged by big oil. >> next question from shreveport. >> that this campaign has turned very personal. we have seen an example of that. appointed tax on each of your we have scene pointed attacks -- we have seen pointed attacks on each of your voting records, where is your opponent crossed the line? what have they said that is untrue about you? >> the list of untruths is awfully long. i will get you one of the big is that i was for limiting bp liability. that was completely not true. i have a bill that charlie melancon knows about -- we will have bp fully liable.
>> let me finish>> after you voted to introduce. the bill. >> if you would lie as much -- >> let's hear from mr. vitter. >> he knows i have a bill to hold bp fully accountable without limit. he also knows i clear that on -- that i cleared that on the other side of the senate. we were ready to pass that on an expedited basis. it is being blocked by the leader of the senatorial committee. it was his biggest ally. because of that, four local democrats wrote to mr. melancon june 7. talk to your party leadership. this is wrong. do not obstruct this bill. this is the biggest country. -- untruth. the biggest area where i think he crossed the line is taking
iand using video of my children in his two-minute are rated attack -- r-rated attack ad. that is clearly crossing the line. if that is part of your melancon family values, i do not want part of that. >> you never had family values. you demonstrated that quite keenly while you were a member of congress. you were the worst member of congress. [cross-talk] >> it is the reputation of louisiana you have damaged. it is the people that you have broken faith with and lied to, not just your family. you will against bill clinton. -- railed against bill clinton and the blue dress. you railed against bob livingston because you coveted his seat. then you said, they send, they
lied, they should resign. you send, you lied, you broke -- sinned, lied, broke the law, you have embarrassed the state did you have been consistent. you have not hinted once that you think you should step down. >> he started doing direct mail pieces. he did these town hall meetings paid for with tax dollars. his maligning the first half hour on whatever it is. he is using taxpayer dollars to fly down. >> thank you very much. next question. >> louisiana and has had some -- with i guess we can all kind of salem down -- i guess we can all kind of calm down for a second. we have had some very
painful reminders justice -- just this last week. we lost two soldiers or so. in light of that, what do we do? what is our path to victory? how do you define it? >> what is victory? what do we win? the war the we were brought into was to seek out al qaeda and the taliban. week got misdirected. we ended up in a war. it is expanding rather than shrinking. the attempts to try and move out of there are so complicated. at some point in time, we cannot continue as a country to support that will not bring itself together and govern itself in a democratic way. i do not know the answers. i wrote to the pentagon and -- look to the pentagon and to those and know all the details of what is actually transpiring. >> do you suggest we leave? >> nobody should trivialize that. 106 louisianans killed.
nobody should trivialize that. it is very costly. i do not think anybody will trivialize that. we have to remember what brought us there -- 9/11. this was the training ground for the 9/11 terrorist. it has gotten even more serious since then. since then, the government has become a little less stable and may have nuclear weapons. i do not disagree it is tough. what i do say very clearly is that our national security is terribly involved and we cannot -- directly involved and we cannot fail. i very strongly support general david petraeus's effort to stabilize the government and get terrorists out of afghanistan. >> the next question comes from blue. >> a large majority of viewers feel that neither of you has provided a great deal of leadership during the oil
disaster where do each of you feel your opponent has shown a lack of leadership on the oil disaster? >> i've never talked about my opponent. -- i would rather not talk about my opponent. i will talk about myself. for i believe i've shown my leadership in pushing legislation to hold bp accountable. without limit. i've also done something charlie would not do -- we also pushed the obamathe need to have a much more rigorous response. you need to move quickly on the barrier islands program. we need more boom. we need more aggression. it is because of that that i won the bipartisan support. both republicans and democrats. billing and dust -- billy. there are local leaders that happened to be in the heart of rock charlie melancon's congressional district. he said the support david vitter. -- we support david vitter. they said that specifically
because of my performance during the oil disaster as well as hurricane rita and katrina. >> if you will visit with those officials, you will find a david vitter harassed them and called them and talked about things that he could help them with as a senator. he started out with a letter saying that he did a good job. when it all ended up, there was an endorsement in there. you've never seen him stand up on the steps of the court house. or any place else or make anything public other than this letter he has bandied around. i got the military to fly in boom from around the world. i asked the white house to do that. i asked for the moratorium to be lifted. i introduced the only piece of legislation that provided for that moratorium to be lifted. all he had to do was go to the leadership. my bill said, make sure they are
safe and let them go to work immediately. he did not lift a hand to do that. i held to a small businesses. -- i helped with small businesses. i've brought mobile health units down. there were supposed to be a meeting -- vitter did not even bother to come. >> thank you. our last question comes from john. >> the national debt is threatening to make america's second-rate international country, perhaps going down the rate -- road of japan and greece. without attacking each other and blaming someone else, tell me specifically what you will do to reduce the national debt? >> i would love to do that. i would immediately go back to 2008 spending levels. we can ask the they do. -- we can absolutely do that overnight. second thing, specific spending
cuts like i have mentioned. stop the stimulus. say that unspent stimulus money. save that unspent stimulus money. they get rid of this unused federal real-estate. wampum $1 billion. it could yield $4 billion in one year. crazy programs like payments that go to dead farmers -- $1.1 billion. i would do a balanced budget constitutional amendment. i'm a leading co-author working at the state level. it can work at the federal level. i will push through something i'm leading co author of, a bipartisan spending? -- bipartisan spending thadebt commission. it will be outside of congress. gives us a plan to reduce debt. it is an expedited consideration. it would get a thumbs-up or
thumbs down vote, no amendments possible. no horse trading. >> he talks the talk, but does not walk the walk. >> his been a businessman for 20 years. he was playing cribbage and cricket. >> what about the question? >> did you break the log? -- law? >> what would you do to reduce it? >> we voted against it 15 times. -- i voted for the paid as you go rule. he voted against it 15 times. if you do not have the money, you have to find it. there is a report that comes out every two years that says these programs are not giving you the baying for the buck. -- bang for the buck. congress should adopt that when it comes out. >> they ought to be cutting them. >> you know what else that included?
a $1.90 trillion increase in the debt limit. that is great. >> this is the man had voted for 3.4 trillion dollar lifting of the debt limit when he was on the appropriations committee, outspent, brought us the 10 trillion dollar -- $10 trillion deficit. earmarker biggest in the house and senate. he makes it look like child's play. he took it from an average of $14 billion in earmarks to $85 billion in earmarks. >> now comes our final round of questions. we are looking for short answers. the candidates will respond to each question and have 30 seconds for each response. the question that we will " -- this question will go first to mr. vitter. >> would you be in favor of
abolishing citizenship to children who are born in this country to illegal immigrants? >> i have basically proposed. -- i have specifically propose that. i have legislation to do that. it is never intended by our founders they did not live for rehab this. it is a magnet for illegals crossing into our country. it is an incentive for them to do that. i am a leading sponsor of that legislation. >> mr. melancon. a lot of this are here. >> i believe that if you come here intentionally to have a child to get a citizenship, that it ought not be provided. if you are here and you are having a child and are legitimately here -- >> how do you know that? >> that can be cleared easily. it is just like identifying people that go to work -- with their credentials. it is the business pro -- business promotion -- it is the
business person who lets them work without credentials that -- it is causing a problem. >> the second question goes to mr. melancon. >> they are watching openly gay residents who want to serve in the military. what you say to them tonight? >> i think i support them. i broke with many people, -- i grew up with many people, friends, relatives that are gay. they struggle with this coming up. it was not like they decided one day that they wanted to be gay. they are good citizens. they are hardworking. many went into the military. they are hard fighting people. they want to be in the military. if they are that kind of people, i want them to be there. >> you said you'd think that it is a problem? >> the problem i am concerned with is their safety from other people who would attack. >> mr. vitter? >> i think the first consideration on this issue should be the safety and
soundness of the military, be ing able to perform the necessary function of defending us. i would turn to the military service. -- military service chiefs. all of the chiefs have said "do not pass this right now." let us go through a process. >> what would you say to someone who is openly gay that wants to serve? >> my first duty is to have an effective military. i'm listening to the military service chiefs. >> next question goes first to mr. vitter. >> the term separation of church and state has become an issue. says the u.s. constitution, for a separation of church and state? if it did not come to believe is to be based on christian beliefs? do you believe that it should be based on christian beliefs -- that america is a christian nation? >> as you know, that exact term is not in the constitution. that concept is. the freedom of religion clause and bodies element of that --
embodies elements of back -- that concept. the problem has been in the last 30 years many folks have -- many liberal activist courts have misinterpreted freedom of religion to be freedom from religion. they have legislated from the bench and tried to shut down religious activity in a way that i completely disagree with. >> is the united states a christian nation? >> his starkly. -- historically, it is a judeo- christian nation. that is not mean we do not provide religious freedoms to everyone. >> i completely support prayer in school. i thing clamping against prayer in school has led to very negative trends in our society. >> i believe there prayer were -- in prayer wherever, school or otherwise. our ancestors came here for religious freedom.
in the bill of rights, they also put in that there be a separation of church and state. beck is a reason for that. there is a place for religion and government. unfortunately, several years ago, they voted to start funding religious groups with federal dollars. >> are we a christian nation? >> yes, we are. i hope we will stay christian nation. >> next question. >> this question deals with climate change and global warming, which could be a major concern for self louisiana's coast and vulnerability to future hurricanes. do believe global warning is a scientific fact? is it a political ploy? >> after going to an article in -- antarctica and seeing the science, and not told understand all a bit because it is complex, we have a problem with this world. it is not a healthy world.
there is a place for us to get green. we need to try to fix this problem. i am not a doomsday person. there is a place for us to get green over time. we need to bring the combination of fossil fuels and bring to bear so that this country we leave will be healthy for all of the generations to come. at the rate we are going, i am leaveul that we will not nee much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren. >> mr. vitter. >> ? this is another honest disagreement. i do not think the science clearly support global warming. i will not support any of that sort of cap and tax legislation. mr. melancon said to support a compromise but i think that is wrong. it is bad for the country. it would be disastrous. he also voted against an amendment saying that if china and india do not follow suit, we do away with our cap and tax program. he voted against several other significant amendments. >> next question. >> i hope we can have some
really good and honest answers. what do you respected by your opponent. -- respect about your opponent? >> his sense of humor. >> could you elaborate? >> i could repeat some of his cajun jokes but i would not tell them as well. >> mr. melancon? >> i expect a great education. -- a respect the great education that he got. i wish everyone would have that opportunity to get as good as an education or have a system that would provide as good an education. >> short and sweet. >> final question. >> the people of louisiana have shown their support. mr. vitter offered a bill calling for term limits what you -- while you were in the legislature. are you in favor of term limits for congress? >> and not only in favor of it, -- i am not only in favor of it, i am the author of the leading bill in senate for term limits for congress.
we need it in the state legislature. i was an effective passing it there. we need it even more in congress. >> if elected, this would be a last term? >> i did not say that. i said we need term limits. >> this is a very important point. term-limit needs to be for everyone, otherwise you'll penalize some states like louisiana over others. in need to be a rule applied it needs to be applied equally across the board. we need to pass that in to law. >> mr. vitter was in the house, he said he is the logger for term limits. -- when he was in the house, he voted for term limits. when he was no longer there, he said he was for term limits. he wanted to play by the rules. it is on video. it was on the news. it says he voted against it before he voted for it. if pinocchio's nose was growing, mr. vitter -- >> thank you very much. it is not time for closing -- and now time for closing
statements. it did you will have 45 seconds. -- each of you will have 45 seconds. we tossed a coin earlier for the order. >> i want to say thank you for the opportunity to be here. what do you want in a u.s. senator? do they want someone that is corrupt, immoral, ineffective? an embarrassment? do they want somebody that is honest or dishonest? do they want the money put -- someone who puts louisiana first or that pushed bp first? do they want a person who respects women are disrespect them? had you base your children every -- face your children every morning and say i want you to abide by the law and be honest but i'm going to vote for the guide that lie to us. -- the guy that broke along hand has lied to us -- broke the law and has lied to us? we in louisiana are smarter. we need to make sure we elect an independent expert louisiana offers that worries about the citizens of the state first and not his own career. i promise i will never embarrass you. >> thank you for tuning out.
-- thank you. now mr. vitter. >> thank you for tuning in. you listened and heard a lot. i have listened and i have heard you. i bring those ideas to washington. i will continue to do that. i humbly ask for your boats we -- vote for two reasons. first, so that we can have real checks and balances against the obama administration. we need to get our country back on the right track. we need to save our fundamental freedoms and our future for our children. i ask for your vote so i can continue to actively to do -- continue effectively to do important work for the louisiana. coastal restoration, hurricane protection, highways, infrastructure. i've looked forward to doing that important work. >> thank you. thank you, both. that concludes our program tonight. thank you to our panelists and
the candidates for joining us. election day is tuesday, november 2. thank you and good night. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> follow the key races and elections here on c-span. you can go online to see the archived debates. you can see more about campaign ads and other resources. it see the jon -- see the jon stewart and stephen colbert rally live this weekeend -- weekend. follow c-span postelection coverage through election day. >> coming ashore the, we will go live to the white house where president obama will make -- coming up shortly, we'll go live to the white house where president obama will make a statement about suspicious
packages found on airplanes. then, we will have a press briefing from robert gibbs. that is coming about 4:15 eastern. the first amendment center held a forum on how the media and criminal justice systems deal with questions of national security. journalists and intelligence professionals talked about how their fields intersect. among those taking part, cia chief michael hayden. we will show as much as we can until the remarks from the president. >> it is important to me and all of us. it is important to me as an american citizen. one of the headline that you will not get from our discussion here this afternoon is that the former cia attacks the first amendment. but we have issues. what i would like to do is to kind of walk you through some of those issues, trying to be balanced with truth in lending
from the very beginning based on my experience, based upon where i have been. we're looking at the same things, but we might have slightly different lenses. when i had to call an editor to talk about one or another particular story line that was about to make -- be made public, i would begin the conversation with the following words, "thank you for taking the call. director of nsa, cia. we each have our job to do in the defense of the republic. how you are about to do yours is going to make it harder for me to do mind. can we talk?" that was how would begin those kinds of conversations. as pointed out in the earlier panel, the next thing you had to do was tell the editor or reporter more than he already
knew in most cases in order to create the context as to why he is getting a phone call on this particular case. for the most part, i have found that we were successful, that these for reasonable men and women with whom we were talking. at the end of the conversation, it would exact another promise that was not mentioned in the earlier panel, which i will share with you. ok, fine. we will not go with the story. but if anybody else asks about it, you have to call me. clearly, we were going to be the trigger for the story going if anyone else was falling along that plot line or that story line. i tee that up for you this way because i want to share that the men and women of the american intelligence community have a healthy respect for the first amendment and for the role that the free press plays. a couple years back, 12 of us signed a letter having to do with -- i know it was a
difficult topic in this group. i do not intend to dwell on it. on the journalist shield law. all chiefs of intelligence agencies signed a letter to the hill opposing that law. we all took a hand in the letter. we were very clear -- a very clear -- we were very clear. none of us were in sensitive to the role of the press in our democracy nor to the delicate balance and inherent tensions between security and openness. if you look before the theme to continue in the next 30 minutes, that is it -- "inherent tension ." this is the condition to be managed -- a reality with which we must both the deal -- with which we must deal, not some reality we can make go way through legislation or other magic.
-- make go away through legislation or other magic. everybody has secrets, not just the american intelligence community. all communal activity requires secrets. the family has secrets, the pta has secrets. the lions club has secrets. the press as secrets. i was struck how many times it was mentioned in the previous panel about protecting sources, keeping sources secret. i understand that. the cia recognizes that. in broad terms, we have established rules for when sequence will be recognized according to privilege -- when secrets will be recognized according to privilege and when they will not. we of the marital privilege, the attorney-client privilege, the priest and penitent privilege. we have established rules windows privileges might be --
when those rules might be overcome. governments need secrets to. -- a secret, too. all three branches claimed the right to secrecy. the liberation of the court is sacred. congressional markup sessions, secret. the overnight discount rate discussions were secret. the press has its own brand of secrecy. i was struck by the discipline of the american press, keeping out of the press for a period of seven months during the time that reporter was in the hands of the taliban. it was known. we talked about it with the press. i was at some events with the national press club and we talked about this in various hubble's. we talked about those
circumstances, but it was never made public. we all agreed, perhaps informally with the members of the press, that this was something that should not be public, even though everybody knew. my working premise is that reasonable men and women believe that some things are legitimately secrets and need to be kept secret or private. that separates our conversation this morning from the earlier conversation about wikileaks. my sense of wikileaks, and i can only reason about this by analogy. our conversation this morning is to wikileaks as a precision- guided weapon against the military in an isolated area it is to the dresden firebombing in world war ii. the one, necessary, legal, occasionally regrettable. the other, morally indefensible.
by the way, i was struck by the earlier conversation, the blogosphere being somewhere between july and a staunch -- julian assange and what we're doing this morning as another issue that has to be addressed. if we are in broad agreement that some things are legitimately secret, the question becomes who gets to decide to on-secret them -- un- secret them? who gets to decide what can be made public? i was invited to a smaller session like this about four years ago. the next page or two are my notes on that conversation did the only journalist in the room decided -- besides -- the next page or two are my notes on the conversation. there was one journalist in the room beside myself. this is not a challenge to the
first amendment or the free press. i will make some strong digestions -- strong suggestions. rather than reading this as a challenge, let me suggest that you look upon this as an invitation to humility in terms of when it is you choose to exercise this declassification function. let me repeat what i have told a smaller group of years ago. it has to do with the public's right to know. in fact, i said, the public has decided when it wants to know what it wants to know. the president and other members of the executive branch have decided what would damage national security. the supreme court recognizes that. you, the press, kind of recognize that, too. it is the government's responsibility to keep its
secrets secret. then, it goes on to say, and it is our responsibility to ferret out information that the public can be aware of the actions being taken in its name. in other words, the government, under the authority of the public, has the right to keep secrets. but they should remain secret only unless and until someone leaks them, then they become fair game. my sense is to call that incoherent. i also recognize that others will simply identify that as the natural and necessary attention. it exists in a democracy. the new york times does not do much better than that. he mentioned this in an earlier panel. the publication of the lead stories -- leaked stories -- we waive the merits of publishing
it against the risk of publishing. it is no metric -- there is no metric. we make our best judgment. making those decisions is the responsibility that falls to editors, a corollary to the great gift of our independence, not our responsibility that we take lightly, nor one that we can surrender to the government. that weighing and balancing poses or risk -- a risk. given the life i have led, it is precisely what is represented by the president. there is nobody in the new york times who is authorized to perform that duty. the new york times editorial board has claimed that "a free press is the central place in the constitution." i would take a lot more seriously had it not been for some of the stonewalling of the
budget press inquiries about the internal new york times deliberations that preceded the decision to publish the terrorist surveillance program. transparency is transparency. i should add, there was a three- parter in the washington post about the growth of defense and intelligence contracts and one of the core arguments in that discussion was, you have contractors performing inherently governmental activities. well, so does the press. here is what david said.
it outweighs any potential harm. the benefits of public disclosure -- exposure -- the problem is they are not fully qualified to make that judgment. it is the perspective i have been a lot of people in my intel community have as well. none of us challenge the first amendment. we suggest a little sense of humility as we approach these very difficult issues. .
one another now we are in the business of hard choices. we would never published troop movements. let me tell you how that comes across the field. it is that we don't care but this is so 20 it century. remember the soviet union? i spent most of my professional court with that as mine primary target. those are the tank armies.
i knew where they work. they were hard to stop. if you did that, that would affect american security. these guys are not hard to stop at all, they are hard to find. i know where they are. what wins or loses in this war is intelligence. very often i have a conversation with members of the press. look at the content. this cannot possibly be secret. let's say that they are right.
most of what we did was based on source. very often, your source does not know my source. you believe you're doing something fairly benign and that is somewhat destructive. revealing something that a place in 2007 might look entirely innocent on your part. frankly, this is all in the doing. i don't think any of our discussions will sandpaper the
rough edges. this as a condition that we must manage, not a problem to be solved. this has been with us since the foundation of the republic. let me begin with some practical advised to the press. i am assuming that the objective of the press is to inform the public debate about a very critical national function. watch your language.
it is easy for the press to drive for consistency and to grab language and slap it to a label. do you realize when you label the is it, the torture memos, you have ended the conversation. you have concluded what this is. the same thing might be said for the terrorist program. when this was labeled domestic surveillance, it already locked in a fraction of where the
discourse was going. every one of those conversations hadn't least one and outside of america. this becomes part of the journalistic record. if you understand the shaping function that is being used. let's talk about extraordinary renditions. is it your understanding that president obama is policy is identical to president bush's and that more were conducted
congress, you must talk to the appropriate committee. you cannot talk to the intelligence committees. i will ask you how long -- had been at nsa? after he talked to the congressional committees, what happened. nothing. all we got was the evening news. all we got was the equivalent of a drive-by shooting. it appears that my successor
went in and talking about the assassination squad, blackwater, the vice president of the united states. you probably remember when i said that vice president cheney's never told me to hide anything from the hill. where did that go? what did it say? in that report, did three directors goin in? that story got stuck in mid-air.
this has come down to earth but you would never know it. the truth is complicated and it is the truth and simplicity that will set you free. where are we on the aclu project? this is literally a one day stories. photos of cia officers are showing up on the cell phones of detainees in guantanamo? where does the doj stand on this? this was not in many papers. this suggests a third issue.
from our point of view, coverage comes from a political perspective the of the editorial page has its moments. the editorial page actually went to one reporter and said that your editorial page not only has the law is wrong, i think they're getting the laws of physics wrong. we got hit from the right with regard to the 2007 national intelligence estimate with regard to the iranian nuclear weapons program. the editorial writers from the right side made up the story that this is simply the intelligence committees revenge against the bush administration for being hung out to dry in
2003. nothing to do with reality. i would suggest that the editorial policies does affect coverage. i have no idea why it they covered the swift story. i had a conversation with some people as to why did you go with this story. i and stand that there is a civil liberties quotient. all the things that you said were justification for going with -- did not exist in the swift program.
that program was fairly brief it to the hill. we had auditors overlooking the program. what is that about? what it is about is the broad political perspective. okay, enough giving helpful suggestions to the press. let me get some suggestions to my other community members. talk to the press. fothe sometimes you get it
surprising results. we had someone who had a story, i made a phone call, each had a role to play. i wish you did not go with the story. if you do this, we buy back a lot of what we are concerned about. intercepted communications say -- the other and said that you are kidding. their wrists a reason the ford -- there is a reason for this.
when did you talk and when don't you talk. to this day, this is a good idea. i will read a question to you that i sent to the work force. the air are unclassified letters to our own work force. i am sure that many of you saw or heard the broadcast alleging that the president urged operations to destabilize iran.
many of you have expressed our concerns about this. in talking to reporters and that means right now, we neither confirm or deny the stories that could contain classified information. i did want to point out that we have expressed our opinions to the leadership. this is actor the fact. -- this is after the fact. if this is true, they should not have gone with it. if this is not true, they should not have gone with it. abc executives had to defend themselves, they said that they
would not comment on the truth of the news report. i will ask, what covert do you need explained? there is another story where i did not engage. a friend of mine sitting at the -- and he wrote into a member of 2007. we were aware that we have a choice and we did not. frankly, here is what i am telling you. this cannot be a good story under any circumstances. these have the tapes of our first two detainees destroyed
in 2005. this will not be a good story under any circumstances. i should have engaged and i did not. an additional lesson i would draw this to a specially talk to the press when your not accused of something. the story i would used when talking to people inside of the intelligence community is set news about the intelligence community acts like gas in a vacuum.
we have a program at an essay in which food remembers of the press in for half a day and we would try to explain to them how difficult and challenging the difficult the is. i would counsel my friends that the journalist work covering this, besides being somewhat risky legally, this is just plain hard work. this is really obscure stuff. this is hard for us to do this for 39 years to 10 we have mastered the ins and outs. house and you have a journalist not privy to all of this information trying to put the story together in a logical and truthful way. there is a lot more that can be done.
course we take you live to president obama it was making remarks on the discovery of suspicious packages on flights had been to the west. >> the actions were taken by our friends and partners to respond. last night and early today, our intelligence professionals work with our friends and allies to identify two suspicious packages bound for the u.s., specifically two places of jewish worship in chicago. both packages had been located in dubai and east midlands airport in the uk. initial examinations have determined that they do apparently contain explosive material. i was alerted to this threat last night to buy my top counter-terrorism adviser.
i have urged our homeland security administration and law- enforcement agencies to take whatever measures would prevent this kind of attack. there is additional screening of some planes in newark and philadelphia. the department of common security is taking steps to enhance the safety of air travel including additional cargo screenings. we'll continue to pursue additional measures for as long as it takes to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. i've also directed that we spare no effort in investigating the origins of these packages and their connection to any additional terrorist plots. we are still pursuing all the facts, we do know that the packages originated in yemen. we know that al qaeda in the arabian peninsula continues to continue attacks against our citizens and our friends and
allies. john brennan, who you will be hearing from, spoke with the president of yemen today about the seriousness of this threat. the president pledged to the full cooperation of his government in this investigation. going forward, will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the government of yemen to disrupt plotting by al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and to destroy this al qaeda affiliate. we will continue our efforts to strengthen a more secure and stable yemen said the terrorist groups don't have the -- so that the terrorists don't have the time to plan attacks within their borders. on the events of the past 24 hours underscores the necessity for many vigilance. our intelligence, law enforcement, and home and security professionals have served with skill and resolve, a commitment that their
responsibilities demand. we are coordinating closely with our friends and allies. they are central to this fight. as we obtain more information, we will keep the public fully informed. at this stage, the american people should know that the counter-terrorism professionals are taking this very seriously and are taking all necessary and prudent steps to ensure our security. the american people should be confident that we will not waver in our resolve to pete al qaeda and their affiliates and to read out violent extremism in all its forms. thank you very much.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> as you just heard, president obama just concluded his remarks about the discovery of suspicious packages on flights heading to the u.s. from yemen. the packages were intercepted in dubai and the uk. three flights in new jersey, pennsylvania were searched on the ground while a flight from the united arab emirates was escorted to jfk by military jets. in a few moments, the press secretary will be speaking as well as the counter-terrorism adviser. we will bring this to you as it
>> as we wait for the press secretary to give remarks, the associated press is reporting that the u.s. award of that terrorist would like to mail chemical and other materials as a part of an attack. this briefing by the homeland security department was obtained by the associated press and it says that there is credible evidence that terrorists are planning on making attacks using
the mail. last night, authorities intercepted an explosive device in dubai and another package in england. both were mailed from the same address in yemen bound for chicago jewish organizations. the president has just given his remarks and he did not seek questions from reporters. we are awaiting the press secretary and the counter- terrorism adviser. about >> good afternoon. i want to run it you all briefly through some of the events over
the last few hours. at 10:35 p.m. last night, the president was alerted of the credible terrorist threat. the president directed to law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the american people. john provided the president with additional updates throughout the evening. from 11:00 p.m. on thursday and it till 12:00 p.m. on friday, there was a discussion with the fbi director, tsa, it administration, the counter-
terrorism director, bis central intelligence agency. there was a conference to discuss the threat with officials from across the intelligent community including the nsa, cia, tsa, faa, fbi, northern command, the coast guard. at 5:15 a.m., brennan held up a phone call with the deputy security adviser in the u.k. he held the second call on the same topic. at 8:00 a.m., he held a video conference to discuss this with dod, cia, dhs, faa >
at 915, he discussed the threat with the president of yemen. at 10:00 a.m., he held a phone call to discuss the threat again with director mahleuller. at 10:15, the national security director and the deputy director discussed this with the president at his daily briefing. these were efforts that recorded out of the white house. as you can see from the run down, this has encompassed activities throughout the government but agencies or also doing a lot and they have been doing her a lot since they first made the president aware of last evening. i will direct some traffic while john answers questions. this is an active investigation
involving sensitive intelligence soda there's a limit to what john will be able to talk about. >> if you can talk about what you now beyond the fact that this was from yemen, there are people who want to harm us. is there more that can be established to create a direct link beyond the country of origin? >> this is an ongoing investigation and we're working closely with our partners in yemen, the u.k., the uae. we know that al qaeda has been trying to carry out attacks against the u.s. and western interests. as we continue with this investigation, we are trying to understand who is behind it and make sure that we understand the scope of the threat that we might face. we have identified these two packages, they have been
isolated. what we are trying to do is to make sure that we're able to address any other threats. >> you said you have identified a key, what about reports that there are up to 15 packages that you are looking for? >> we're making sure that we take a close look at other packages that might also have some kind of materials of concern. both of these packages we have a and a fine originated in yemen. it is very prudent for us to make sure that other packages that might be coming from some other places are looked at very carefully. there are only two packages that have materials of concern. >> the president described this as a credible threat, can you say whether this was an attempt -- attack or some kind of practice run. >> it appeared that there was
explosive materials and both of these packages and they work in a form that was designed to try to carry out some kind of attack. the forensic analysis is underway. we're working closely with our partners. clearly from the initial observation and analysis, the materials that were found and the device that was uncovered was intended to do harm. >> and do you have any extent of the harm or damage that have been done by this? are you looking into the possibility that -- was involved? >> i don't want to speculate what the damage could be. that is the analysis that is under way. this is in the early stages. clearly, what we're doing is
looking at all individuals that we think might be involved. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has been rather open in their venom toward united states and western interests. there are a number of individuals that we are concerned about. when i had my conversation with the president, he pledged the full cooperation of the government and we will get to the bottom of this. >> is he considered to a threat? >> anyone who is considered a member of al qaeda is a concern. >> have you determined that the quantity of the explosives? >> we have had some preliminary discussions but i don't want to go into details about the quantity or the exact types of materials. this is preliminary. i would not want to say something that will be corrected in the future.
>> was the intelligence community aware of this possibility using cargo packaging for tax? >> al qaeda is focused on the aviation sector will lot of their efforts to have concentrated on using aircraft to carry out attacks. the aviation industry has taken the steps over the years. when i'm talking about al qaeda, i'm not just talking about al qaeda in afghanistan, i am talking about the franchises including in yemen which have demonstrated that not only are they intending to do certain things against the homeland but as we saw last christmas day, they will in fact take steps to carry out those intention. >> or cargo planes ever focused on as a possibility? >> we are concerned about many
modes of air traffic for many years. >> are there any suspects in custody? >> not to my knowledge. >> is there any reason to believe that this was -- a cargo flight and passenger travel. is there any urging of people to reconsider travel plans to yemen? >> we don't want to presume that we know the balance of this plot so we are looking at all types of packages. we want to make sure that we're going to whatever length we need to to ensure the safety and security. >> -- originated in yemen? >> we are working with the government there. we have taken steps to ensure
that the packages that come from yemen are carefully screened. we are working with the government right now. one of the reason why we look at some planes coming down in philadelphia and newark is because they were carrying cargo from yemen. we have had these meetings to discuss the options. i don't want to go into the details. several of these measures have already been instituted. >> can you walk us through the decision to send fighter jets? >> these decisions are made by the u.s. and canadian military air force. if there is a threat and i have only seen the preliminary threat, there was sickened -- preliminary information, there was only cargo on that flight. we will scramble jets to make sure everything is ok. >> is their concerns about threats on european targets?
well, we have issued the travel alert because of concerns about al qaeda carrying out attacks. this was uncovered in the airport. we are looking at all of the parts of the puzzle we have been piecing together. we were not presuming that this is part of that plot. we need to maintain our vigilance and that is the message that we send to our european partners. >> were there any extra precautions at the places of worship? >> we're looking at that very carefully and we have reached out to the appropriate private sector entities as well as organizations. >> there are multiple terrorist
attacks emanating from yemen. is it fair to say that we don't have the cooperation? >> over the past 22 months and even in the prior in a ministration, there has been steady improvement. i would say that the cooperation right now is better than it has been ever before. that does not mean that it cannot improve more. i have been to yemen two times. we're working very closely with them. they are courageous partners. many of them have lost their lives in the battle with al qaeda. >> have we increased our presence? >> we are working very closely
in the investigative efforts under way. >> the president's travel plans vote this evening and tomorrow -- both this evening and tomorrow. the counterterrorism professionals are in the job. the president will not change his schedule. there is no cause for americans to change their schedules. >> to expect this issue to come up during the campaign events? >> i get some guidance from the speech writers to see if this was mentioned. we will take the opportunity if need be throughout the weekend to continue to update the public
on information as it comes in. >> al qaeda it is targeting other countries during the election season. are you taking that into account? >> there is never a day that we relax our guard against al qaeda. >> i wonder if you can answer a little bit. what did you know when you briefed the president last night? was their rant and screenings are wasn't something else. >> i knew enough to be able to brief the president. since 911, the u.s. government has built up a very capable and robust law enforcement source as a -- system. as a result, information became available that we were able to
act upon very quickly. we were able to locate these questions. we were able to succeed because of the professionalism of the agencies. >> you were aware of this plot not because of the packages but because of something else. >> whenever you pull a string, there is a reason why you pull the string. as a result of what we were able to uncover, there has been a very strong corporation of the authorities. that is why these prudent measures were taken today so that we to verify any other packages that are of concern. >> it did you direct to the authorities to look for this package? >> we were working very closely with our partners to locate come identified, and isolate the
packages. >> which was found first? >> the first one we found was east midlands. >> with the other packages addressed to destinations in chicago? >> there were two packages, one in dubai and one in east midlands. both were dressed to synagogues in chicago. >> i will not say that there's not something but the only two packages we have been able to identify of concern, the one in dubai and the one in east midlands. we want to see if there's something else of concern that we can simile assimilate. >> --
>> you found the first package after the president was briefed on this issue? >> yes, from a sequencing standpoint. >> it is it your belief that these were the targets of the attack? >> it is less than 24 hours since we started to look at this very intensively. we are at the early stage of the investigation. the impact of the explosives, how it could have been used. >> can you give us detail on the size of the packages, the letter bombs. is it your belief that they were designed to explode upon
opening? >> they were not letters, they were larger than that. ouwe don't know how they were intended to be activated. we are piecing together the pieces and working very closely with the british authorities. there are many things and need to be done is the tariff threat level being raised? >> what we were looking for our packages and therefore we took the steps that were appropriate to ensure that we were able to identify where packages were globally as well as where they might be if they were coming to
the u.s.. the measures that we took were appropriate. >> we are making sure that we're able to stay as efficient as possible. there has been no adjustment of the threat level. as a result, we're working very closely with our state and local officials. >> what made the package is suspicious? >> the american people should be pleased that we were able to get inside into the fact that there were suspicious packages out there that we had to find. i think that we have a secure system in place that has these redundancies and the ability to detect things from inception all
the way to the possible execution. we were on top of this but i will not go into details. >> were you looking for these packages? >> we were looking for packages that were concerned. course we take very careful look at what the threat and armored by p -- >> we take a very careful look at what the threat level might be one of the present troubles. at this point, there is no effect. >> given what you do know about these, was this more than just a dry run? >> since there was explosive materials in it, a traditional dry run is not something that you would use with explosive materials. that said, i don't know what the intent is. there are many different
scenarios that people have speculated about what we're trying to wrestle this to the ground by doing the good friends analysis and trying to piece together what we might have known that would give assistance of how this would be used. >> al qaeda has changed their locations, does this have anything to do with the pakistani man arrested? >> there is no individual that arrested had anything to do with this. many people are determined to carry out attacks against innocent lives. we're working very closely with
the government and we have been able to make significant progress against outcry that inside of him in working with those partners. this just demonstrates to us that we need to redouble our efforts so that we're able to destroy our party. -- said that we are able to destroy them. >> -- >> there one of our best partners. >> there are specific attacks that have been highlighted by the administration, does this reflect the intense scrutiny that a passenger aircraft has gotten in the past year or so? >> absolutely.
the al qaeda organization is trying to adapt to all of the obstacles we put in front of them. clearly, they're looking toward and a 5 vulnerability is and take advantage. because of the good work of the and people here and important partnership that we have with our allies overseas, we have been able to stay ahead of them. >> after 9/11, this is an attraction. >> nothing about al qaeda surprises me anymore. >> how is your response differ to the response over the holidays last year? what did you learn from last year? >> you're dealing with two packages as opposed to an individual. whenever something like this happens, we want to make sure
that we take all appropriate measures to identify the additional packages out there. we are trying to find other packages that are often their. we want to take the appropriate steps with organizations. >> how -- there are accusations that this is all happening a couple of days ago for an election. how do you respond to this? >> john brief to the president at 10:35 last night off a very credible terror information. i think that is largely put to rest any speculation out there.
as john said, counter-terrorism officials at all levels of our government quickly went into action in order to take the steps necessary to take the american people. that is what has governed his actions and the actions of the government. >> there are a number of streams we have been following. and number that we are concerned about. >> how many -- >> there are questions about the reports of the threat. is this part of the same threat screen? sometimes we're concerned that they're trying to carry out some kind of attack. we have dozens and dozens of
reports related to this. the intelligence community has been kept very busy with reports about al qaeda trying to carry out attacks in yemen as well as in the u.s.. >> is this area the primary threat? >> out side of the afghan- pakistan area where the senior leadership preside, i would say that the elk hide it in the european -- arabian peninsula is the most active franchise and they deserve a lot of our attention. >> is there a concern that the president will be having a rally tonight and everyone else will be airing this terrorism scare? >> i think the president was quite clear on this. we are taking this threat very seriously. at the same time, he is not and i don't think the american people should have any reason to
change the way they go about their lives or their central. i will say this, regardless of whatever season we are in, our commitment, a democrat and republican, to keep this country safe will not waver. >> will he talk about this tonight? >> i will check on that when i go back. as we get information, we will update you. any additions to his schedule or what have you over the course of the weekend, stay in touch, we will let me know as to get more information. thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> we just heard from president obama and his counter-terrorism
adviser about the discovery of suspicious packages headed to the u.s.. the president said that this is "a credible terrorist threat." mr. brennan said that both packages appeared to have explosives. they were shipped from the same address in yemen to jewish organizations and america. turning now to the midterm elections just four days away, each night on c-span, we are showing debates from important races. we start at 8:00 p.m. with live coverage of the debate among canada is to be the next governor of colorado. watch that live at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. at 9:00, the first of two senate debates to be the next new
[applause] >> the congress, and as a republican from oklahoma with over 19 years in public office. she was named legislator of the year for her work in the oklahoma house of representatives. she went on to become the first woman and the first lieutenant governor in 1995, a position she held for 12 years. in 2006, she was elected to the united states congress. please welcome congresswoman mary fallon. [applause] >> duncan native and terry haskins has been -- jari askins
has been in public service for 12 years. she served in the state legislature as the state rep. in 2006, she was elected lieutenant governor of oklahoma. ladies and gentlemen, the lieutenant governor. [applause] now, before we begin tonight debate, i would like to review the format and the rules. it candidate will be allowed to make a three minute opening statement. each panelist has 30 seconds to ask his or her question. panelist cannot ask a follow-up question or ask the candidate to clarify our position. should they desire a follow-up question, they must wait for their next turn.
each candidate will take turns responding first. at the end of the debate, each candidate may give a closing statement not to exceed three minutes. please refrain from applauding during the questioning. you may applaud after the opening and closing remarks. let me introduce our panelists. it was determined by a coin toss and that the lieutenant governor would make the first opening statement. >> thank you to those who are in the audience and those who are watching tonight. for those of you who are watching from outside the state, welcome to oklahoma. the campaign season has been long and many of you are ready for it to be over. the process has become so
controlled by political pundits and consultants that oftentimes people seem to forget that there is still an election that has to occur, an election where the people of all, will actually go to the polls and make the decision as to who will be the next governor of the state of oklahoma. as i traveled around the state of oklahoma, i hear over and over again that the people are wanting to make sure that there is leadership, the kind of leadership that gets results. when i was in the house of representatives, of lloyd bentsen once called me a workhorse. he said, she is a workhorse, not a show horse, she works to get results. before i even got to the legislature, i had to chair a committee. we had to decide whether or not juvenile should be removed from the control of the department of health and human services. there were a lot of different
opinions, but it became the office of juvenile affairs. it is a wonderful organization and an opportunity to show that leadership can occur before i was even in the house of representatives. when i was in the house, i had the opportunity to serve as a member of the negotiating team for a hospital where we were selling different aspects. i do understand the need to have a teaching hospital. throughout my time and the legislator, i have had a chance to work on tort reform. i have send bills to the governor that he signed on a worker's compensation.
these are the kinds of results that i have worked for as a member of the legislature. i want the opportunity to be able to do it again for you. i sought advice from members all around the state when i was in the legislature, working across the aisle, urban versus rural, east side versus west side. it was through that success that i was able to offer over 100 pieces of legislation that have been to the benefit of the people of oklahoma. now i am asking you to give me that opportunity to do it again from another office. i ask for your support, and thank you for being here tonight. [applause] >> the next opening statement. >> thank you for the opportunity
to be here tonight. i appreciate her commitment to the state of oklahoma, and her love for the state, and her commitment to our future. kelso was rated as one of the top cities in our nation,. whether it was from the ballpark, the baseball team, i am excited about tulsa's future. i want you to know that you of my full commitment as governor to do everything i can to work with your city leaders. this is a very important time for the state of oklahoma. we have been through a recession. many oklahomans are looking for jobs and they are concerned about the direction of our
nation is going. i feel as many other people to the -- do that washington is out of control. oklahoma needs a governor that is willing to understand and end up against president obama and nancy pelosi. we need a governor who has a plan to move oklahoma board, to -- to move oklahoma foreword, bring about the reforms that will bring a more prosperous future to the state of oklahoma. we need to send a signal to the rest of the nation that oklahoma is open for business. i want you to know i have a plan. first of all to create jobs and better opportunities. keeping our taxes low, adjusting the high cost of
workers' compensation and tort reform. i what oklahoma to be the very best place to do business in the nation. secondly, it is a focus on building a stronger more educated work force, to build a quality education system by keeping our money in the classrooms and reducing our administrative costs, to work on our reading skills. also, attracting and rewarding effective good teachers through a fare paid for performance system in our state. thirdly, our plan is to make government more smaller and cost efficient. i would do that through a government task force that will make sure that government is the right size and more efficient. fourth, i am the only candidate in this race for governor that has stood up to washington when it comes to unfunded mandates, when it comes to challenging the constitutionality of president obama's health care bill, for standing up and fighting against capping trade which will hurt our energy jobs. i had the experience as a businesswoman and as a legislator.
as a lieutenant governor and as a congresswoman. i am asking hundley for your -- i am asking homely -- humbly for your support. i am looking forward to a great future for oklahoma. [applause] >> now it is time for the questioning. we go to our panel. the first question, from jim jackson and goes to marry fallin. >> as we all know, oklahoma will have its first female governor. some emphasis has been placed on the relevance of motherhood. one study suggests that a female in the board room to make a positive difference between success and bankruptcy. given our state budget cuts and personal experience as a woman, how would you make a difference at the capitol? >> first of all, for the last year and a half i have a campaign to the state talking about my plan to move oklahoma forward. i just talked about the plan that focuses on creating jobs, making government right side,
creating a better stronger work force, and to stand up to washington when it does things that will hurt our jobs and economy. that is my plan. it does not matter if you are a man or a woman. it is about leadership. it is about the person that is prepared and ready to lead the state of oklahoma that has a vision, that understands the challenges of our working families. i have travelled across the state. i actually went out and worked 20 different jobs so i could listen and understand about the challenges, the opportunities, and the concerns that they have. i believe we have some great opportunities moving forward as a state. if we do the things i have talked about, we will be able to build a stronger economy that will help us have the revenue we need to find it important services for the state of oklahoma like education, like corrections, like law enforcement, like mental health services, and we are going to have a great future ahead of us.
>> jari askins? >> thank you. this is one of the areas that sets me apart from congresswoman fallin and that the 12 years i served in the oklahoma legislature, 10 of those i was involved in the appropriations process. eight of those years, two of was vice chair, six i was chairman of the subcommittee. i learned to the process that we can do a better job as far as the process and mechanics of how the state handles the appropriations process. there have been some changes since 1947, but not a lot. i have proposed and i will continue to propose that we sent - a question to the people of oklahoma changing oklahoma's budget cycle from a one year to a two year budget. when we do that, we can set
aside every other section of the legislature to be a budget only session. this will allow all wondered -- will allow all 100 when members of the house and 48 members of the oklahoma senate to be involved as members of a subcommittee. we need all the eyes we can get working line by line looking for programs that serve similar constituencies because we had a tough decision to make this next year. we will have about $1 billion less revenue than we have this particular year. being able to change the mechanics of how government works will help us all make smarter decisions as our economy begins to improve. >> thank you. the next question comes from general kelly and is for jari askins. >> 755, the law would disallow shariah law to be used in oklahoma courts.
this is getting a lot of play in international media as well. one commission urges the rejection of 755. some call it a phantom threat. do you agree? is shariah lot a phantom threat? >> the 755 -- i support the state question. i understand there is a lot of concerns about whether or not other courts in oklahoma the to be plying oklahoma's all and -- need to be applying oklahoma's law and oklahoma's constitution. i will be supporting 755. >> i do support 755. i believe it is important for the court system to follow u.s. law and oklahoma law. it is very simple. >> the next question is for mary fallin. >> oklahoma incarcerates women
at a higher rate than any state in the union. why? >> that is a great question. i appreciate that. years ago when i was lieutenant governor, i was asked by the commission of women to be the chairwoman of a study on why oklahoma is number one in incarcerating women. i listen to experts testified that our panel and issued a report back to the governor during our time. i work done that for over a year. a couple of things we felt was -- found was that over 60% of our inmates do not have a high- school education, do not have a ged. one of the reasons why i make education a top priority is that that is one of the ways we can reduce our incarceration rate by giving our citizens a better education. we also found that there is a higher drug addition rate in the state of oklahoma, which we
all know. over 50% of our inmates have some type of conviction related to being on drugs. that is why i support drug force. -- and drug courts. in the report we said we should put more money into drug force -- drug courts for those who had an addiction problem. that is also the reason why i support reentry programs and programs like "women in recovery." that can help put families back together. a lot of children to let parents -- to have parents in the prison system could end up in the prison system themselves. we need to reduce our incarceration rate. >> oklahoma has failed to provide sufficient resources for decades for community-based treatment, whether substance abuse or alcohol abuse.
or even mental health. we know that states with a much larger population than oklahoma have a smaller prison population. you can go back decades and see that the committee investment has been made. we know that oklahoma women in present -- when you have a substance abuse problem and come from a rural county, we do not always have the kinds of counselors that are necessary to understand that there are differences why women become addicted to substances versus white man become addicted to -- a quiet men to become addicted to -- why men become addicted to substances. the treatment approach has to be different. i had an opportunity to visit with women in the corrections association. we talked about oklahoma's issues. when we had the opportunity to provide community-based
resources, then we give the chance to intervene on, but for people who were wanted to change their lives. when we do that, we stop at behavior before it leads to the criminal activity that will ultimately land someone in jail. this is a problem in our state because it increases the number of children who are living with grandparents, other family members, or foster parents. we need to do what we can at the community level to keep families hold. -- whole. >> this is for jari askins. >> this is about the state teachers retirement fund. we finished third worst. it is underfunded to the tune of about $10 billion. i can't remember when it was $3 billion. the theory was the stock market was soaring and we would earn our way out of it. we sell it go from $3 billion to $10 billion. in the last 60 days the state treasurer said we would not be able to earn our way out of the
situation. my question is, your thoughts about the state teacher's retirement fund and how would you fix it? >> this sends a signal around the country when we are trying to work on bond issues across the state. it affects our bond rating. we need to make sure that our pension system continues to move at an upward manner so that they become more fiscally solvent. a couple of years ago the oklahoma legislature began to make some changes in how they propose money would be deposited into the teacher's retirement system, try to make an effort to increase participation from the school district as well as what the state of oklahoma should be able to put in. when our revenues increase, we need to figure out a way to periodically make deposits to improve the solvency. if we are going to ask art school district, if we are going to pass a mandate on our school district that they increase their contribution, that we need to figure out a way to help the school districts be
able to make those payments. we tend to pass those mandates but we provide new funding mechanism. -- no funding mechanism. when we do not provide it, we are taking money out of the classroom to help support the pension system. they cannot be handled one on the back of the other. >> mary? >> we need to keep our commitments to those who paid into the pension system in the state of oklahoma. there have been in years when the state of oklahoma has had great financial times and we did not put money back into the retirement systems like we should. legislatures recently have dedicated some sources to our teacher's retirement system. i am proud of that. you are right. there was a recent report a couple of weeks ago that said the estimates were worse than what we thought. there is a $10 billion shortfall in our teacher's retirement system. that is not right to the people who paid into that. it hurts our financial rating
of our state. i also believe it is important that we do what we need to do to continue to grow our economy and the right size of government itself so we will have the money to put tourist important needs. -- put towards important needs. we will not be able to solve some of these financial challenges until we do the things that creates a better, stronger business climate in our state, until we right-size government. that is why i also proposed having a governor's task force that will bring people from the private sector to look at how we can make government more effective and more sufficient so we can put towards imported financial needs such as at shoring up our teacher's retirement system. >> the question will go to jari askins.
>> i think it goes to me. >> i reversed it because i wanted everybody to be able to ask a question specifically of the other person. otherwise it would be the same. >> we are good students here. >> i should have told you that i had a time. -- ahead of time. kemp, your question for mrs. askins. >> we are in the midst of health care reform. here in oklahoma, we are experiencing a shortage of doctors. as a state, oklahoma rates as one of the most unhealthy states in the nation. how do you feel about fitness as an answer to chronic illness and health issues and how you plan to address the crisis that has been called an epidemic? >> thank you. help is an issue in the state of -- health is an issue in the state of oklahoma.
they-steps have been made in the -- the baby steps have been made in dade -- made in the state capital to work with the kids coalition to the get nutrition in our schools. a few years ago and effort was made to remove some of the soft drinks from the vending machines, at least at the elementary level, and try to work our way up to make short work healthy choices were -- make sure more healthy choices were offered in the vending machines at our schools. wendy to figure out a way not to -- we need to figure out a way not to just get the kids more active, we need to get families involved. i have several friends who have different ideas, but one i really like has an idea that if you want to change the help of a -- health of a family, then
you need to change the attitude, the knowledge, and the information of the mother or whoever is head of the household. the mother is usually the one in charge of the meals. if we can teach our mothers have to be coaches of our children's help, we could use our county -- how to be coaches of our children's health, we could use our county health departments about how we can use them to reach, especially into rural oklahoma, where it seems to be more difficult to get the resources. there are food-to-schools programs that are also combining what happens in agriculture production and getting fresh fruits and vegetables into our schools. i support that effort totally. >> there is no doubt that health care and health care reform and access to health care is one of the hot topics of our nation. that is why i do not support for the the obama's health care bill because i do take it will hurt access to care. it is already rising health- care costs in our nation, which hurts the health of our citizens and makes health care unacceptable. you are absolutely right that oklahoma has some bad numbers as it relates to the health of our state.
we are ninth in the nation as it -- 49th in the nation as it relates to diabetes, to cardiac arrest. it hurts the activity of the work force of our state. there are some great programs in the state of oklahoma. there is the healthy oklahoma initiative working on tried to educate oklahoma residents take better care of their help. -- residents on how to take better care of their health. i support try to get more nutritious food into our school system and into our children, get rid of the deep fryers and get more fruits and vegetables into our schools. children need to learn at an early age healthy eating habits. there are some great programs alike in sure oklahoma. -- like insurance oklahoma. some may not be a to afford
health insurance. there are some great things going on. >> the next question goes to marry. >> congressman fallin, former alaska governor sir pailin has endorsed her campaign. she is wildly popular with the tea party. she only polls 12% among likely voters in a 2012 presidential campaign. will you similarly endorsed her campaign if she runs for president in 2012 and is she presidential material? [laughter] >> i personally admire sara palin. the true grit, her hard work, the tenacity, unwillingness to say whatever is on her mind. she has my great admiration, especially which tried to put up with some of the things she had to go through with the national media. i appreciate what she does. she has been a leader talking about how we get america back on track. certainly she has been mentioned as a presidential candidate.
she will, i think, one of the top leading candidates for president. but there are a lot of good people considering running for president. people like mike pence, hayley barbour, mitt romney -- there are a lot of people considering running. whoever receives the nomination will have a big task on their hand. that is to refocus america or what is really important and what has made our nation the strong nation that it is. to stand up for our state's rights, to get spending under control, one that believes in lower taxes, limited government, the protection of the sanctity of life, personal responsibility, a strong national defense -- those are the characteristics and qualities i think the next nominee for president should have. >> the wish to comment on this
question? -- do you wish to comment on this question? >> i have not had the opportunity to meet sara palin. i would love to take her turkey hunting. i have a really great guy who's helped me get my first turkey this year. i think it would be a nice and informal way for us to be able to become acquainted. i have not hunted grizzly bears, but she would invite me up there, i promise you i would go. she is a wonderful communicator. she does a great job of communicating with the people. i think everybody in the united states realizes that if you have the desire, anybody who says their mind to it can run for president of this country. she is certainly one of those. >> our next question is for jari askins. >> everyone is familiar with state question 744. my question is whether or not
the question passes, why or why not and please include a yes or -- is the funding of education at a level comparable to other states a worthy goal, why or why not, and please include a yes or no light in your answer. >> no on state question 744. whether or not the regional averages what oklahoma should strive for, i do not think oklahoma should strive to be average. when the per-capita income in our state is as low as it is,it is not unusual for our average to be a bit lower than some of the states around us that have a higher per-capita income. the opportunity for us to look at models like the state of colorado that uses cooperative educational services, to figure out how to use economies of scale to reduce its administrative costs, the opportunity to try to utilize the state information officer to figure out new technologies
to save money across state governments a we had you additional resources to spend in the classroom so our teachers have the tools they need. when we are able to do that, we can measure oklahoma's commitment to education against oklahoma and not worry about what other states are doing. my goal is not to be average, but to be excellent. >> i want to create a stronger, more educated work force in our state. that means getting money to the classroom where it belongs. it means working at any kind of duplicative administrative costs that might take away from getting money to the teachers and the classrooms. it means having high performance standards. we also need to work on making sure that each child as they move from grade to grade is proficient at great appropriate
levels. -- grated-appropriate level. -- grade-appropriate level. there is a great saying that says from the first to the third grade a child learns how to read, but from the fourth grade on they love to read. -- and they agreed to learn. -- they read to learn. that is where our focus needs to be. how can we raise the bar on our expectations for education? after we get more money to the classrooms? how can we make sure we reward effective teachers and have a fair pay for performance system for our teachers? how can we get more parents involved? after we get more local control of our school boards? i do not believe the oklahoma should be average. i believe oklahoma should be excellent when it comes to education. i think all of us working together can create a better,
stronger, more educated work force because it is critical for a stronger oklahoma. >> the next question will go to mary fallin. >> across the country and certainly here in oklahoma, everybody is talking about jobs and the economy. in oklahoma, our unemployment rate has been around 7%. the national average is very high. what would you like to do to try and create more jobs? what can we do to try to get oklahoma living with the economy? -- moving with the economy? >> i think oklahoma has great potential looking for. -- forward. oklahoma has everything going for it. we have land, low-cost of living, natural resources, and a great quality of life. if we do the things i have been talking about to create that very best business climate by focusing on keeping our taxes lived in reducing our tax burden on individuals and businesses, making sure we had a fair legal system -- we have over 500 different agencies, boards, and commissions in the state of oklahoma. that is money out of our
pockets. we need to look at government from top to bottom. i will do that. i will also have a task force that will look at rules and regulations and taxation. one of the things i have heard, i was talking to a business owner who says his workers' compensation costs by up 72% this past year. that is holding oklahoma back. i have talked to businesses who have said they cannot find workers who are educated. small businesses are the economic backbone of our rural communities in the state of oklahoma. we have great opportunities in energy, tourism, agriculture. that is why it is critical that we do everything we can to send a signal to the rest of the nation that oklahoma is ready and open for business. >> we are very fortunate that oklahoma has a quality jobs
program and the recently enacted 21st century investment at. we have seen the benefit of those programs when there is a partnership and cooperation between local committees and the state government in figuring out how we can best help those local communities bring business to your area. recently oklahoma was named as the no. 1 state for entrepreneurs for the last year. more entrepreneurs started the business is probably because of the ingenuity of the people who are no longer employed gave them the chance to create those jobs and those businesses that they often thought about but never had the time to do. we need to find ways to make sure that we have venture capital that is available for these entrepreneurs that are able to start new businesses, a cottage industries, sometimes in their garage. oklahoma was also rated in another survey. it was defined as investment and education.
it was defined as investment in healthcare. what was defined was quality of life. if we want to be able to bring businesses to the state that we talk about, then we must show an investment in our cells. -- in ourselves. >> the next question comes from kim jackson. >> one of you will be known as our first female governor. how do you want to be remembered? >> i hope i have an opportunity to change the way government does business. i am into the mechanics. i am entered the techniques. where we have money that we can trim and a short state government is meeting the needs
that we claim to the citizens that we want to fulfill. when we can do that we will have a more informed legislature because they will be involved in the appropriations process. i also want to be known as a governor that focuses on children. the opportunity to create a children's cabinet and be able to set a policy to make sure every dollar that is spent on a child's program in this state does not just tell the children of today but helps the work force of tomorrow. these are the young men and women who will be our leaders in business, our leaders in philanthropy, and our leaders in government. everything we can do to commit the state to serving oklahoma's children. will last long beyond the term of any governor. >> i want to be known as the governor that gave all oklahoma residents, families and children, a better future, a better start future.
-- better, stronger future. our children will be able to stay in the state of oklahoma and find the kind of jobs that they need to be good, productive adults. that is why i keep saying my number one priority will be to focus on jobs in the economy so we can create the best business environment, create a better future for all oklahoma residents. we had a lot of challenges ahead of us. i talked about right sizing government itself. i am for letting more oklahoma residents keep their money so they can expand jobs so we will have that better future. as we grow the economy and then we will have more money to put towards infrastructure whether it is roads and bridges, whether it is more mental health services, whether it is strengthening our education system, whether it is senior nutrition -- all the things we have been talking about so we
can meet the needs of our budget. it has been expressed that we have had a budget shortfall. we are anticipating a budget shortfall this coming year. the last thing i want to be remembered as is a governor that was bold enough to stand up to washington. >> our next question is from joe kelly. we will go back to mary. >> my last question was for mary. is it not for the to the governor askins? >> if you would like that. [laughter] she begins first this time. >> i question congressman fallin blast. but in the governor askins, your radio and television advertisement campaign touts
your candidacy as conservative. can you identify and elaborate on your greatest conservative a thomas met while in office? -- accomplishment while in office? >> one of the best examples of try to be a conservative in oklahoma and a conservative member of the oklahoma legislature is the idea that with the tobacco settlement was being negotiated around the state and the country between the state budget that had sued the tobacco companies, we saw a great deal of influence in the legislature that was trying to spend the money as it came in. with all other government leaders tried to capitalize on the proceeds as they came in. i believed that we need to say -- save that that money. i started pushing legislation to create a trust to capture this dollars as they came in. i believe that the state of oklahoma has to show that we are fiscally responsible. i think that is what oklahoma democrats or. we had the opportunity to pass
and create a constitutional trust where okla. says the money that comes in on the back of some debt payments and we are -- saved some of the money that comes in and on tobacco payments and settlements, and we are able to spend only the interest. we have gone that trust where now we are able to fund programs that we could not find earlier. when we created that trust, about 24 months later in the economy began to fall. we saw states around the country using this dollars to balance their budget. oklahoma did not have to because we were smart enough to save its. >> to me, a conservative is one who stands up for the sanctity of life, is one who has a 96% ranking with a conservative group out of washington, it is one who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk when it comes to bidding.
-- to voting. it is one who stands up to washington when washington tries to take over our health care and tells us how, where, and when. it is one who says they will challenge the constitutionality of president obama's health care bill. it is one who supports arizona in securing the border and stands tough against the drug cartels. it is one to stand up against deficit spending and big government. it is one who stood up against unfunded mandates that will affect the state of oklahoma. as governor, those are the things i believe a conservative stance for and what i have stood for my whole time. >> now the next question. let's start with mary fallin. >> my question deals with the matter of local interest. would you consider a hospital
provider to generate revenue for federal medicaid matching funds and are you willing to put it to a vote of the people? >> my turn? i believe in general that we should keep all the fees low in the state of oklahoma because every time you add a new fee, you add eight new cost either to the individual family or to the businesses. my way of helping to shore up our medicaid system and create better access to care for those who utilize that type of service has been to focus on making government more smaller, smarter, and efficient. by eliminating waste in government itself and focusing on right-sizing government. and of course to continue growing our economy so that as we grow our economy we will be
able to match some of those federal dollars that will help meet the needs of those who need those types of services. >> oklahoma has been woefully behind other states in try to reach the upper payment limits that are available to us in receiving federal funds for health care. a number of years ago the hospital association in the state of oklahoma came to the legislature with the idea of a provider of feet to increase the state money so that we would be able to reach more people in this state, especially oklahoma's uninsured children. the bill did not pass because there were a lot of conflicts with some of the specialty hospitals in our state. it is my understanding that negotiations have gone on that would allow that bill to come forward again without opposition. i would be willing and have already had discussions with the man i believe will be the next speaker of the house, and
i absolutely support the idea of the legislature and governor working together to figure out a way that we can raise the amount of money oklahoma can bring in so we can reach the upper payment limits for purposes of health care. if it means going to vote of the people, i am confident if the people of oklahoma trust the way the money will be spent than the people of oklahoma will support it. >> next question for jari askins. >> this deals with what we can expect of you as a leader if you are elected. would you compare and contrast the last governors we have had -- i think our chamber has done a good job and our lawmakers have done a good job of expressing the issues that are of interest in oklahoma, but sometimes it might be helpful to have the lawmakers come up here.
what can we expect from you? how are you going to lead? what is your style going to beat? >> my style is pretty inclusive and they pretty hands-on style of leadership. i do not favor oklahoma city or to also won over the other. -- or tulsa won over the other -- one over the other. it is a nice position to be in. i have spent a lot of time visiting in tulsa and all of northeastern oklahoma. i understand the importance of trying to make sure that the expressway gets completed because it is not just about economic development over the industrial parks, it is also about being able to move on the north side of tulsa in a fashion that will alleviate some of the transportation issues that occur.
i understand the importance of making sure the river development occurs. we have seen what has happened over what used to be a canal. it is now booming with development. as tulsa boosts development here, let it not only improves entertainment and the look of oklahoma here, it is important to all of oklahoma. i know oklahoma city and tulsa have to be strong. we have to have strong economies here. they are the economic engines that drive our state. i am committed to make sure that both of them are strong parts of our economy. >> mary fallin? >> as your next governor of the state of oklahoma, i think it is important that the governor be available. a governor is the person that can open the door and, frankly, close the deal. working with your local community leaders, working with your chamber of commerce, being available -- over the past year and a half i have been in this
campaign and as a member of congress, i have come to tulsa. during the campaign i came to tulsa at least once a week and sometimes three times a week even while serving in congress. i try to pay a lot of attention to tulsa. i have heard over the years that also may feel like they are left out when it comes to attention from a governor. i think it is in very important to have a governor that is willing to work with all people no matter what political party. as a member of congress, i brought the democrat share of congress to tulsa to look at the conditions of the roads and bridges as i was a member of the transportation committee. i even brought a democratic chair of the small business community to talk about cats and trade and what it would do to the energy sector, not only in tulsa, but the state of oklahoma. i had been chairman of the tourism commission for 12 years
as lieutenant governor. i understand the importance of economic and community development and how that can eat that the growth and future of tulsa itself. -- how that can affect the growth and future of tulsa itself. >> thank you. our next question from kim jackson did it goes back to mary fallin. >> as governor you have to look high and low at everyone in our entire state. right now it is absolutely true that people are hurting. i have seen children in elementary schools that take home backpacks because they do not have enough food at home to eat on the weekends. last week we opened up the application for our fire department and hundreds of people stood in line. there are a lot of people who are desperate for jobs. what do you commit to do during your first 100 days in office that people will really see and feel a difference in their
lives? >> people are hurting to about the state of oklahoma. there are a lot who are unemployed. i have had the opportunity to go across oklahoma and talked to various committees and business owners that are looking for workers and those who are trying to find jobs. the best thing i can do as governor of the state of oklahoma is to do what i have talked about in my plan. that is to create the very best business climate possible to send a signal to the nation that we are ready and open for business, to do the reforms that we can do to retain jobs in the state and attract new jobs. that is a governor who is a accessible, available, to be the chief business recruiter for the state of oklahoma, when it will focus on education because if children do not have a good education, they will not be able to get the type of jobs they need to be able to support their families and be able to have the quality of life they need.
that is one of the ways we will address our budgetary issues is by focusing on jobs in the economy. whether it is looking at our health care and our school systems, providing needs to our seniors with nutrition programs -- those are things i believe a governor can do to help those who are in need, those who are out of work, and those who need social services and hands up instead of hands out. >> the first 100 days would probably be the end of april or early part of may of 2011. there is no simple rule that will solve all our problems in those 100 days. i believe if we come into this legislative session and if we are working together from the very beginning of the session to say that the state of oklahoma is meeting our balanced budget requirements is our number one issue.
it is the number one task in front of us. it is the only one that is required of us other than finishing redistricting and doing the senate-house appropriation for redistricting. we can have an opportunity to spend time on that budget. if we do that, we send a message not just two other legislators around the country, we sent a message to business that we are serious about the economic situation that we are in. that we are going to get our own house in order first. what we do that, we can make certain the priorities of the state make sure we do not balance the budget on the backs of children or seniors that need our help. that will be my goal in the first 100 days, to be sure we get the budget done earlier. >> we have come to the end of our question and answer session. it is time for the three-minute
closing statements. the first closing statement as to congresswoman mary fallin. >> thank you, john. thank you to our audience and sponsors of this event. i want to thank jari for being here tonight. i told you why i am running for governor -- to create jobs, to bring a better business climate, to get oklahoma's economy back on track, to focus on a better educated work force so we can give our children the education they need and the work force our businesses deserve. thirdly, right-sizing government to make sure the government is the efficient and effective. i will have a governor's task force that will look at government itself from top to bottom to make sure we are not wasting money, that we are not duplicating services where money can give to other essential needs in oklahoma.
as i mentioned, my plan is to send a signal to washington not to send us unfunded mandates, not to pass bills and lost that will hurt our economy and hurt our jobs, even hurt our families. i think it is very important that you had a governor who is willing to stand up when the time comes and not pile mountains of debt over future generations of our children. these are challenging times for the state of oklahoma. over the last 1.5 years, i have had the opportunity to work my way across the state of oklahoma. i have done jobs across the state of oklahoma. what people have told me is that they are very concerned about their jobs, about the economy, about supporting their families. they are very concerned about the direction our country is going. i want you to know that i have listened. i have heard what they said. my goal will be to address
those needs. i believe that oklahoma has a tremendous future ahead of us if we have a conservative governor who will bring about the reforms that i talked about and is willing to step up with a plan to create those jobs. other states are having all kinds of problems whether it is budget shortfalls -- like california where they cannot pay their bills. the high unemployment rate like michigan. i know you cannot borrow, tax, instead your way to prosperity. that will not create a prosperous oklahoma. we have a great quality of life in our state. we have a low cost of living and a low cost of housing. i believe we have a great quality of life. i believe we can create an oklahoma that will be the go-to place to do business and to raise families. i will tell you that during my
time i have been a businesswoman, i have been a legislator, i have been a lieutenant governor for 12 years serving on 10 different boards of commissions, and i have been a congresswoman. my experience makes me well prepared to lead the state of oklahoma. thank you very much and god bless you. [applause] [applause] >> for her closing statement, jari askins. >> a couple of years ago i began to make the serious decision of whether or not to run for governor. as i looked around and listen to what people in oklahoma were saying, what i kept hearing was that they were concerned, they were afraid. they were concerned that the state of oklahoma would not be able to provide the kind of hope and future that they wanted
for themselves, their families, and their children. i knew it would be a tough economic time in our state, yet i decided it was because it would be tough that i chose to run for governor. i have been a decision maker all my life. i am the oldest child in my family. i had to make decisions for my brothers and sisters since we were small children. whether it was as a judge, whether it was working as deputy counsel in the office of the governor, i can tell you that i learned about that process that to be a good leader you have to be able to listen, but you also have to be able to discern and tell the difference between what people are saying to you because they want you to hear it, and letting you know what you really need to hear. i understand that. i can tell the difference. i do note not know whether it
was my long or journalism degree -- i do not know whether it was my law degree or my journalism degree where i learned to pay attention and ask questions beyond just the information that is handed to me. i will build a team, a team that looks like a snapshot of oklahoma. people from different parts of the state, people from different backgrounds in the state. i understand that the best decisions are made when you have different opinions helping you with the information. we do not need to have just a rubber stamp. i will make this tough decisions. i will be the one at the table helping decide and move people together as i have done my entire life, try to find the solutions that will help fix the problems of oklahoma is facing. try to find the consensus that brings different parts of the state together so that we have a unified effort in trying to move oklahoma ahead, not just for ourselves, but for the future. we do need to create jobs in the state, but first of all we need to focus on keeping the jobs we have. talking to industry leaders
across the state will be one of my top priorities. in 1994 when i ran for state representatives, halliburton announced they were moving a whole departments to houston tx. i made some phone calls and found out no one from the state had been involved in those discussions. i do not think that should ever happen. state leaders and the governor needs to be involved when we new businesses are looking to move elsewhere. we need to keep those jobs in oklahoma first period when we do that, we become more attractive for other businesses. i will continue to work for you as governor. thank you. [applause] >> once again, we want to thank our candidates for this very important discussion. we also want to thank the chamber along with cox communications.
of course, this reminder to go out and vote next tuesday. from the campus of oklahoma state university in tulsa, good night everyone. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> with the midterm elections not just four days away, and each night on c-span we are showing the debates from key races around the country. we start at 8:00 with a live coverage from -- colorado about
banners debates. -- colorado governors debate. watch that live at 8:00 eastern. at 9:00, it is a first of two senate races, starting with the alaska race. the focus then turns to governor's races. first in illinois and later, hawaii. more now on the alaska senate race. the anchorage daily news reports that about 150 people flooded the alaska division of elections yesterday just-in-time to register as bright and candidate for the u.s. senate election. it allows for a list of certified write-in canada is to appear at polling places. the court's action is viewed as helping the incumbent senator. the registrant said their goal
was to make a list of choices so long that it would be more difficult for voters to find her name. >> follow the key races and candid on c-span with debates every night and go on line to view archived debates at the video library. this is our politics page. this weakens, cd -- this weekend, seeded john stuart rally. we will show a lot of campaign events and open our phone lines for your comments. follow the election coverage right election day. >> the final debate between the illinois u.s. senate candidate, alexi giannoulias and mark burk.
the senate seat was once held by president obama. this race is rated tossup. this is an hour. >> welcome to chicago tonight. we devote the entire hour to the race for the u.s. senate. we will talk to the canada it's about the issues and their qualifications to represent the illinois. it is one of the closely watched political races and the country. it may be one of the tightest races. on tuesday, voters will decide who takes the senate seat once held by president barack obama.
the candidates will meet face to face before the final time. there are two groups of people here in our studio. the members and guests of the city club of chicago. table, are're the candidates who want to beat illinois next u.s. senator. -- be a little i -- illinois next senator. also on the ballots are green candidates and libertarian candidate. a quick note on procedure, this is not a formal debate. there are no opening and closing statements. the candidates will not be -- our goal is to better inform our audience about the candidates and issues. we have a limited amount of
time. we asked the candidates to be succinct. welcome to this special forum. a lot of voters have been turned off by the negativity of this campaign. can you say one thing that you would mire about the other? >> i lost my stepfather earlier in this campaign and alexi called me up and offered his condolences. >> he is a hard worker. i think he is someone who cares and is a very hard worker. >> there is an unprecedented amount of so-called mystery money that is pouring into the state. most of it seems to be going to you, congressman ed kirk. should that lack of transparency concern of voters?
>> i broke with my find earlier -- with my party earlier. i think we should continue with further reforms. federal candidate should disclose -- for all these outside groups, we do not want to silence any political voice. we should have been disclose all of their donors. >> the issue of transparency. >> i think this is a fundamental difference. the citizens united supreme court decision was a terrible decision. it was a step back for our democracy. it would put some safeguards in place to make sure we know who is funding the campaign. , kirk thinks that it is not the right way to go. he thinks it is a good decision. he has also taken $10,000 from the citizens united pact. he has received over $10 million
from these outside groups. view. my friend marco rubio talks about raising the retirement age for our senior citizens in terms of social security. he talks about overturning euro versus wade roe versus race gives you an opportunity to declare your independence as i have done. i have run as an independent in this race because the parties are broken. far too long and far too much, >> he mentioned the disclosed act which is a very unbalanced bill. in the end, if you have a balanced legislation which forces everything to come out in the open and to be disclosed. the supreme court will uphold it. voters will have more information and voters having as
much information as possible will do good days. >> you have the acknowledged that you knew something about the criminal background -- what exactly did you know? >> let me try to clear the air. throughout this campaign, the congressmen and karl rove had said things that are wrong. i am very proud of the business that my father started 30 years ago. no one has ever accused my father's business of ever doing anything illegal, illicit, or improper. he came to this country with nothing. he started a community bank that helped thousands of people to achieve the american dream. to terry pick a few individuals
out of thousands -- to cherry pick a few individuals out of thousands, if it is not running a straight line. mistakes are made. that does not represent the thousands of customers that achieved the american dream because of my father. >> he said that you did discuss his criminal background. >> nothing that i have said has been inconsistent. if we knew then what we know now -- these are the kinds of people that my -- that is now my father's legacy. if you look at the way that banks and community banks do business, they made a decision on the credit worthiness of the borrower. that is how credit decisions are made. none of the loans that were given had anything to do with a criminal activity of these individuals. it is important to put that into perspective. i am very proud of my father's community bank. >> we were talking about how you
performed as a senior loan officer. did you know that two men were facing prison sentences? >> as i said, if we knew then what we know now, we would not have done business with these people. when you make a credit decision, you look at the credit worthiness of the borrower. if you go to an even larger bank, you'll find hundreds. that is the reality of how business works. >> are you saying that if you go to a larger bank, they will have done business with hundreds of criminals? >> absolutely. these individuals of, among some another -- other banks in chicago. >> this is a list of all the loans made to convicted mobsters and felons.
to learn about them, you do not have to pull their rap sheet. you can read about them in the "chicago tribune." in all of his years in politics, he has not seen someone running for a nationally important office saying, i did not know the extent of the criminal activity. this was from a federally licensed and insured institution. it then collapsed, transferring a $390 million built on behalf of the fdic. >> the congressmen carries this list around. he tries these guilt by association attacks that do not work. he went on national television with the same list. you know what? i've got my list. he took money, thousands of dollars, -- stephen loren pled
guilty to corruption. i can go on and on. these killed by association attacks -- people are sick of it. let's elevate these campaigns. i would love to talk about the issues and move this campaign forward. congressman curt had an indefensible record in congress. it is ironic that today he he is pulling -- going straight negative. >> were you aware that these donors have criminal backgrounds? >> so much -- what he does not
say is that be refunded this money the minute we knew about criminal problems. many of those contributions we refund almost a decade ago. >> when we look at this, i did not lend hundreds of thousands of dollars. >> you received a campaign contribution. >> i did not interrupt you. i would give you the respective not interrupting you. can i talk? >> go ahead. >> we were funded this money from story line. when you run big campaigns, you will accept money from a lot of people. when you're about criminal problems, your refund debt. i did not a run at -- run a bank that had some new relationships
with mobsters and villains. what i did not do was that the old bank on risky real estate loans. "the new york times analysis shows the collapse of this institution and then $390 million bill paid by the fdic. that was my opponent first job. his second job was treasurer for the state of illinois. it was a loss of college savings. >> a quick response. >> the bigger picture is that i have my list, he has his list. he has not returned all the contributions. that is for him to defend. this goes to the bigger picture with what is wrong with politics. we did not talk about issues. he goes around and says that i am involved in these activities. he says that i have a -- he has an indefensible record in congress.
the congressman is doing the exact opposite. he has pulled all of his positive ads. there is a fundamental difference in how we address the problems of this country. >> congressman, let's talk about your record. you have taken responsibility for your mistakes. can you give voters some analysis on why you felt the need to exaggerate and the first place? >> i was careless. i misstated parts of my military record. i learned a painful record. you are taught to take responsibility for your people, for your unit, and for your mishkin. i am accountable. which is why i apologize to the people of illinois. >> over the course of your career, there are these questions about exaggerations.
from the boating accident to the awards they received to whether or not you were actually subject to gunfire while you were in the air. there is a pattern. >> you certainly go through an intense amount of scrutiny. each detail is available. one of the problems i have is that i have a military record. i served in the united states navy reserve for 21 years. my opponent has based all of this campaign on the military record. he has not served a day in uniform in his life. i very much believe in this country. i would die for this country. did i make mistakes? i learned a very painful lesson. one of the differences in this race is that i took responsibility and understood the mistakes that i made.
when you look at my opponent, the collapse of broadway bank, the monsters, he always -- the mobsters, he always says it is someone else's fault. i released all 21 years of my navy officer, provincial report. i would make sure that that does not happen again. my opponent presided over a bank that collapsed. >> since a bright start has come of a couple of times -- >> what is more egregious -- and the reason i was endorsed by chicago sun-times, you may not always agree with me, but you'll
always know where i stand. we do not know where he stands. we do not know what he stands for. on issues that are important to all of us, like cap-and-trade. on things like the repeal of don't ask don't tell. what we want -- where do you stand on issues? the reason i received all these endorsements is because people do not know were marked kirk stands. i always tell people the truth and i will vote my conscience. that is what is wrong with washington d.c. >> you raise a bunch of points. i would like to give the congressman a chance to respond. since a bright start is on the table, what is your position? done -- o'donnell, rand paul, sherron angle in nevada, they have gone so far to the right,
it's a position that i'm not comfortable with anymore. my republican opponent with, >> when i got in office, one of the worst programs in the country. it is one of the top five in the country. even congressman curt says it was not the state treasurer's fault. -- kirk says it was not the state treasurer's fault. that being said, i was in charge. i take responsibility. that is why i went after oppenheimer. we will first state to issue subpoenas. in two dozen 8, the market took some enormous lot -- in 2008, the market took some enormous losses. there were over -- this is the only one where families got money back. the facts are not in there and
his commercial. what is more important that is that there is a bill in congress to get the corporate man out of the student loan business. it would make college more affordable. it would increase funding to community college. it would give money to early childhood education. we were to make college more affordable. congressman kirk has done the opposite. >> so much of what -- you have to check out the rest of the story. he was too reckless and to ensure to be in the senate seat. when we look at the bright start program, we know now that he was told in september that there was
an increasing risk to the program spread only a few weeks later, send out a letter to families saying that the fund was strong and that this was a good investment to make, misleading those families. they lost $70 million. letter sayingut a that you may be able to get a dissent on the dollar refund as long as you promise never to sue me. that was his second job after the collapse of the bank. >> did you blame oppenheimer for what happened? >> we did not know at that time. until we got the freedom of information request, they were told that oppenheimer had bet the ranch on risky mortgage real-estate losses. he stuck with it all the way down until college families lost
$70 million. >> with to get from one of the worst programs to one of the top five in the country. not surprising, the congressman is completely changing his tune. we'd make college more affordable. he has made it more difficult for students to be able to go to college. that is a huge difference in this race. he cannot talk about his a vote on making college more affordable. >> can you name one issue where you have parted with the president? >> i said i would have voted against the spending bill, and i think the president should have veto that bill. it was a mistake trade >>
anything else? >> i think the focus on health care reform, we should of had a laser wrote light focused in washington d.c. on creating jobs and crating access to capital. -- and creating access to capital. i think we should have focused on turning the economy around. >> congressman, you were quoted as saying that the president's stimulus package has some but failed. >> when you borrow $1 trillion and tried to spend on something, you'll get something back. >> what did the president get back from that? >> most of the stimulus money went to spending programs. our foreign creditors expect to
be repaid with interest. did we -- was some light infrastructure done? it was. one of the key mistakes was that it limited our infrastructure to shovel-ready projects. we did not do a new system for the mississippi river. instead, we failed to answer the key questions. what happens when the borrowed money from abroad runs out? now it has. the only lacking -- lasting legacy is a tremendous step for our kids. >> this is remarkable to hear from the congressman. congressmen kirk voted for every single one of the bush budget. their record budget surpluses
when bill clinton left. he voted for every single one of those budgets than double the national debt. more was added to our national debt than those years been the history of the united states combined. overspending, overtaxing, the congressman says, wait, you're spending too much money. he votes against all these measures. was a flawless vehicle? absolutely not. a third of its was emergency measures for states and municipalities. 100 million americans die tax cut. -- got a tax cut. a third of it was for projects. he wants tax cuts for the
wealthiest 2% of americans. something that will cost this country $700 billion. $700 billion and he has not identified where it will come from. >> what -- >> this is a chart showing the deficit to the last 10 years as we move from the recession. then we have been 9/11, the after an attack, the big spending for the department of homeland security. in this. right here, you have got a democratic congress and a republican president, the genius of the founding fathers that the checks and balances are a good thing. it were to eliminate the deficit. and then you have this explosion of spending right there. we should listen to ben bernanke and what he says. can we really borrow over $1
trillion a year in the coming days? i think we cannot. more fiscally responsible policies. >> if you look at his record, if you provide tax cuts to the wealthiest americans, it will create jobs. its exact opposite. it destroyed middle-class families. it destroyed our economy. it did not increased business investment. it was the worst decade in postwar history. in a double the national debt. the president was dealt with an absolute emergency. the fax matter. >> did the stimulus package
prevents a depression? it is hard to prove a negative. >> the stimulus had a very low and haggard. the news media has been full of stories about how its claims were completely overstated. >> 95% of economists claim that the stimulus package did divert the depression. >> most people would credit the tarp legislation with stopping the emergency. i supported that. my opponent finally admitted that he would have supported tarp as well. >> that is not true. >> are you flip-floping on that? >> you probably voted for the bill held twice. -- bell out twice. >> i would have liked to see in some oversight.
-- i would have liked to see some oversight. you voted against granting an executive pay. -- you voted against granting in exit of executive pay. >> are you for or against the tarp? yes or no? >> i am in favor of bits. >> so we agree on this. i would have done it in a better way. >> this is the sort of immaturity of my opponent. in the end, a member of congress is presented with a yes or no vote. he wants to have it both ways. in the end, you have to cast a tough about. >> that would be the most remarkable irony. remarkable irony.